Thursday, June 21, 2018

“Something Broke” by Jeremy Benjamin – A Song Review

     The attractiveness of “Something Broke” stems from the warmth of Jeremy Benjamin’s voice and the use of vocal processing. The song remains dynamic by alternating his natural voice with vocal processing that resides in the Goldilocks Zone – not too modified and not too underplayed

     Jeremy Benjamin is based in Canada, specifically London, Ontario. His bio states:
   Jeremy Benjamin is a singer-songwriter whose work blends elements of folk, pop, country and gospel.  After studying music at Redeemer University, Jeremy recorded and toured as the songwriter and leader of the internationally-acclaimed folk vocal trio Isobelle Gunn along with both his wife and his sister. In 2013, Jeremy released a commissioned work entitled Heidelberg: Songs from the Catechism to critical acclaim.  While working at the Talbot St. Church in London, Ontario, Jeremy created the Body & Soul Collective and began touring and teaching his songs in the U.S. and Canada. In 2017, Jeremy signed a record and publishing deal with Divergent Recordings, an associated label of True North Records, and is currently working on an album to be released in 2018.


     “Something Broke” by Jeremy Benjamin 


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Don’t Believe Them” and “Nebula” by The Amber Unit

     “Don’t Believe Them” is easily sliced into three distinct segments, with each being praiseworthy for its own reasons. At the outset, the song by The Amber Unit is melodically soft and lyrically intriguing. A calming voice is accompanied by crystalline guitar. When the song reaches its chorus, it becomes assuring – “We will be alright.

     Just before the two-minute mark, the guitar builds tension, signaling the start of the second segment. The percussion enters with an aggressiveness and the voice is no longer serene. The lyrics of the first segment referred to the calm before the storm, but now the references are to being stranded by the tide, roaring thunder, and rising water. Still, the chorus is reassuring – “We will be alright.

      The transition to the third segment is more understated. But while the vocals gave proper deference to remaining melodic in the first two segments, the emphasis in the third is upon being clearly heard over the thunder of the instruments. The percussion is more aggressive and the guitar is more demanding. Still, “We will be alright, alright.

     The versatility of The Amber Unit is apparent when comparing “Don’t Believe Them” to “Nebula,” another track on their 2018 album “Fear No Giant.” Rather than building to controlled chaos, “Nebula” arrives there with its intro. At the 1:22 mark, the melody unexpectedly transitions to a more controlled condition and the vocals are determined in their resolve to rebuild.

     The Amber Unit is a five-member band in Basel, Switzerland. They are Vic Hofstetter (vocals, guitar), Stevie Fiedler (guitar, keys), Yves Neuhaus (guitar, violin, keys), Christoph Meneghetti (bass, guitar), and Emanuel Speiser (drums).

     “Don’t Believe Them” by The Amber Unit


     “Nebula” by The Amber Unit


“Don’t Believe Them” by The Amber Unit
It’s the calm after the storm
That I’m fearing
It’s the faces that we paint
On windows when it’s raining

But on sunny days
They are reappearing
Like ghosts from the past
Singing we were here, we were here

Is it okay if I’m freezing?
Guess it’s better than to burn
I don’t want those fuckers screaming
What I already know

Don’t believe them saying a word
We will be alright
Forget about the signs in the sky
We will be alright
[Repeat] Alright

It’s the moment when you realize
That you’re stranded by the tide
And all that you can do is
Wait, wait, wait
From afar a thunder roars
And the air just smells like rain
And through your telescope you think
Can’t you see the water rise

Don’t believe them saying a word
We will be alright
Forget about the signs in the sky
We will be alright, alright
[Repeat]

Don’t, don’t, don’t believe them, a word they say
Don’t, don’t, don’t believe them, a word
Don’t, don’t, don’t believe them, a word they say
Don’t, don’t, don’t believe them, a word

Lyrics of “Nebula” by The Amber Unit
Fire, the fire
I sense the smell of smoke
From burning bridges in the air
They are all liars
Liars
Speaking of the difference
When indifference is what they preach
But let them preach
Do the talk
These burning bridges
Will lighten up the way
Please let them preach and do the talk
But let these burning bridges
guide your way

Cause we
Will rebuild
The only way back to close the gap
Is to rebuild
Rebuild

Cause we
Will rebuild
The only way back to close the gap
Is to rebuild
Rebuild
Rebuild

[Repeat]

Monday, June 18, 2018

“My Body” by Eliza Shaddad – A Song Review

     Indie Obsessive has featured several tracks from Eliza Shaddad. Individually, each release brings attention to the songwriting and vocalization skills Shaddad has worked to develop. But a deserving level of appreciation comes only after listening to the body of her work. Fittingly, her latest release is “My Body.”

     Lyrically, Shaddad’s songs are consistently intelligent. Often, they are introspective and reflect personal struggle. That is the case with “My Body.” According to Shaddad, the song is about “Being betrayed by your body. Knowing full well that you need to be alone, but doubting it every night.”    

     Melodically “My Body” is heavy in the sense that it resides in the lower frequencies and has grunge-like vocal inflections. But particularly after the three-minute mark, the vocals of Eliza Shaddad become less deliberate and more emotionally expressive, as they climb and sustain.

     The video is embedded in this post. The video was directed by Joe McCrae as “a reflection of Eliza’s restless state. Shooting on different cameras and incorporating layering and animation helped show the transitions in and out of consciousness, and the blurring of these worlds - lost in thought, until thought becomes dream.”

     “My Body” is the second single from Eliza Shaddad’s upcoming debut album “Future.” Her devotions are not limited to music. She co-founded the female arts collective Girls Girls Girls with fellow musician Samantha Lindo; and for six years has been working to empower women within the arts through special cross-disciplinary events across the UK, and to raise awareness and funding for the anti-Female genital mutilation charity “Orchid Project.”  

     “My Body” by Eliza Shaddad 

Website: http://www.elizashaddad.com/