Artist: Say Anything
Produced by: Max Bemis
Released: June 10, 2014
I’ve already written about this album somewhat at length, and I’m not sure if there’s much left for me to say other than I believe this it was largely overlooked because the production and instrumentation and direction of this album was so darn ballsy and off-putting to those expecting something regurgitated. Many fans could not get over the hurdle that this album was not supposed to be like the others. With that said, I don’t think anyone could have gotten away with a crafting an album like Hebrews except for Max Bemis. His personal story and history as an individual/artist is a compelling one that I think translates well to a wide audience as they are able to relate literally and/or metaphorically.
No guitars, as many guest vocalists as in IDOTG, synths and strings aplenty with a doubleshot of musical theatre-whimsy, I’m so glad Max followed through with making this album, which I believe was a rebirth of sorts for him. Since he pushed the limits so far with this release, I’m curious to see what he does next in 2015, Two Tongues aside.
Artist: Jenny Lewis
Album: The Voyager
Produced by: Ryan Adams
Released: July 29, 2014
My love of this album is in no way connected to the 100% ownership of my heart to Star Trek Voyager although, maybe subliminally/subconsciously, there is a connection there.
I actually didn’t fully listen to this album until last week, but the songwriting, production, melodies, and words really grabbed me and upon revisiting it, I couldn’t have peace of mind if I didn’t include it on my yearly list.
I’m not or have ever been a huge Jenny Lewis fan, but this album made my ears perk up a bit. I suppose we can credit songwriting whiz and producer of this album, Ryan Adams on this feat. The guitars on this are just so crisp, clear, and smooth in ways I’ve never heard conveyed through Jenny’s previous releases. Many of the instrumental orchestrations, harmonies, and songwriting style reminds me of Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac a bit – two of my all-time favs.
Overall, the lyrics seem to convey a sense of trying to make a dysfunctional relationship work where both individuals are really doing a terrible job at it. To add, there’s a nomadic quality to all the songs, perhaps conjuring days of yore, of past travelers dancing down a dusty road to the beat of the ever-steady rhythm of their internal drum. This is driving music at its finest. Pop this in and speed down the highway and you’re home.
I still have a lot of discovering to do with this album, but I’ve listed my favorite tracks below. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Have something to add? Drop it in the comments below!
Stay tuned for #9_
So I’m super-bummed I won’t be able to bear witness to this awesome Brand New/Saves The Day/The Front Bottoms UK Tour coming up soon.
So today I’m posting a Brand New cover I did a few months ago.
I don’t usually post videos, so I hope you enjoy.
This is “Failure By Design”.
I delight in zoning out on the train and letting my thoughts take over the better half of my consciousness. It’s when everything runs most freely – when I’m not in control or required to be social. I’ve been itching to get started on a new project to stretch my creative bounds and just have some fun with songwriting again. Since the beginning of my Song Shop project (which ends in February!), I’ve only very recently started to write songs independently and easily without fallback of project constraints. Before the Song Shop, along with going through a severe writers block and musical crisis, I realized I was getting bored with E Standard tuning. Because of that I’ve now been experimenting in Open D and already have 3 songs under my belt (which may possibly be released in the distant future).
In the 21st century with all this democratization of technology and no restraint on global creative output, I realized I like limits; I like constraints. A project does that; It allows me to work within boundaries. Sometimes creation can get so daunting because there are so many options available, billions of possibilities. And I’m already indecisive as it is, so you can only imagine the anxiety attacks I have at times.
So I’ve come up with a new project concept. Take a look here. I’d love to hear your feedback –
Some days I just want to be content with everything – Be genuinely content with everything and everyone. But would that be me? Sometimes I wish it were – just to be so easygoing and positive. Maybe that’s what I subconsciously aim for on a day-to-day basis – to be some likable creature.
I want to be thinner, less insecure, more savvy with everything. I have this subconscious quest to learn everything, know everything. I’m not sure if that’s healthy or not. I’m sure the cons will eventually flare up. But nothing beats a content headspace.
Staying home for the better part of the past four months as been a wonderful blessing. But as with the equilibrium of all things, there is a darker aspect to the half of the whole. Once Commencement was over and I cried my eyes out for most of the day, I continued to stay firmly resolute in my heartfelt rejection of society – How it works, how it functions, what it revolves around, the types of people involved. It broke my heart (and still does) to realize that after all this effort, all this hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and emotional turmoil this what it all comes down to: A job – A foundation for a life, for a type of future I do not foresee myself having because I can’t see past the end of the month, nevermind the next five years. But throughout these past few months, I think I’ve slowly been coming to peace with it. Joseph Campbell’s always in the back of my head, telling me to say “yes” to everything – the good and the bad.
So the past few days I’ve been diligently drafting emails and cover letters to send to six different companies. I know there’s something out there for me. It’s just my worst fear is to not utilize my fullest potential, to feel like I’m wasting my time, or not being a part of something great. That’s what I want – I want to move mountains with no bullshit. I want to mean every word I say and make every action count. Joseph Campbell says it’s not really the meaning of life we’re looking for at all, rather it’s the experience of life we’re seeking. And maybe starting now, I’m willing to search for a different experience – One does not require staring at the four walls of my house all day.