Thursday, July 23, 2015
Cassette Review: el hollin "una tuesday" (carousel breakfast)
[$5 // https://carouselbreakfast.bandcamp.com/album/una-tuesday]
One of the biggest things about music and how different people have voices that sound different to me is especially true when it comes to singers of the female persuasion. I've spent a lot of time trying to make comparisons to artists other than the handful I once knew, but perhaps it is fair to say that there might not be as many artists for female musicians to look up to and emulate either as children and teenagers. It's easy for some guy to grab and acoustic guitar and want to be EFS, but what is the female version of that? Kimya Dawson? And if a young lady grabs a guitar and does try to sing like EFS then the result would be quite different (and I also assume wonderful)
On "una tuesday" the songs of el hollin have several different genres present but manage to stay in the realm of clanky guitars and indie rock/pop. There are horns here and there during songs but not in a ska or jazz way but rather something closer to Calexico and what I remember Edward Sharpe as sounding like (I almost totally forgot about that dude) I think of it as almost being salsa-like in that way. But the songs are generally upbeat- even if not in the lyrics- and have this sweet, innocence to them but also another side you don't want to meet. If these songs were a woman they'd be one as quick to flash a smile as to flash a knife.
Somewhere between That Dog and Discount, The Rocking Horse Winner, The Murmurs, Letters to Cleo, Becca Parks and even The Cardigans this one is hard to pin down to a genre as it is just full of pieces of influences making up this wonderful musical puzzle. On the song "And Mock", which has vocals on the round, I begin to think that it is some sort of musical. I don't watch a lot of musicals, as movies/DVDs, nor do I really listen to their soundtracks, but I've somehow been exposed to enough of them to know this song could come out of one of them somewhere. I also think of it as being a little bit from "The Little Mermaid" as for some reason I imagine it as being performed by Ariel.
While the song topics can range lyrically from The Last Unicorn to painting houses, there is a mature quality to them still which we all reach at some point in our lives and is best described by the line "I wish things mattered to me like they used to". Some of that dark acoustic sound of Rachel Jacobs can also be heard and this is just such a spectacular demonstration of how music should sound that I am just blown away by the diversity and levels within what seems like on the surface to be a simple pop cassette.