Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Record Review: TLVS "I Can Dream All Day" (Harding Street Assembly Lab)

The more music I listen to from a particular label, the more I like to feel like I'm getting to know that label.   This would be the third piece of music I listened to from HSAL, though if we must be fair I did listen to one other record all the way through I just don't feel anywhere near ready to write about it yet.  (And of the two CDs I've heard, one has a review and the other is nearly ready for a review to be written about it)  So I scroll through the releases and see only one artist I recognize as having reviewed before: Goodwill Falcon.    TLVS seems to have a number of releases on HSAL, which is good because it gives me that feeling of comfort in knowing HSAL wouldn't keep releasing their music if they were terrible.

"I Can Dream All Day" opens with a short song that has an audio clip playing with a piano accompanying it.     This takes us into a song which begins right away with this ambient drone and full on drumming, which really you hear the drumming more than anything else.   It has an undeniable post rock feel to it even though the title of this song is "Perseus Cluster" and in some odd way I could imagine it being played in one of those laser light light shows at a planetarium.   This shifts by "Claire Kincaid", which is still along the lines of post rock but it is much more dreamy.    Cymbals crash as guitars strum and it's like a modern version of 1960's rock n roll with that build you have come to know and love from modern artists on labels I can't remember by name right now.

Something like The Police comes out and I think maybe this could have hints of math rock in it.   A trumpet blares with audio clips about the stock market- he called it the University of Wall Street- and I find it funny because I recently watched "Trading Places" again.      The vocals become warbled through a lot of cymbals and then everything comes to this head and just stops.   The voice says he is relaxed but it feels like one of those "Serenity Now" ideas to me, though yes, the stock market is stressful and as such this song has a strong representation of it.

This record continues in a way which combines cymbals (though the percussion overall is rather noteworthy) with guitar notes and it just has that balance between post rock and something else, something extra I haven't heard in other music before but it adds another level to these songs.    Somewhere between my first instrumental love- The Cancer Conspiracy- and one of the more popular artists who helped define this sort of genre- Explosions In The Sky- TVLS is certainly shaping their own path, which is particularly admirable in a field where many artists don't strive to do the same.

I like to think about music as an emotion.    I like to ask questions such as "When is the best time to listen to this?"   Surprisingly, there are a lot of pieces of music out there that the only real good time to listen to them is when you want to listen to music, which is not a bad thing.   But if you want to put this on and clean, paint, shower, take a drive in your car, go for a walk, etc it can be done through almost any situation.    As a record it is nice to have at home, playing at a decent level in my living room, but yet, if it was something I really wanted to crank up and experience more intimately I'd plug in headphones.   And yet, walking with the digital version of this and earbuds seems just as deliberate in its purpose.

In perhaps the only fitting end to this record, it leaves us where we started- an audio clip and pianos.    Aside from the obvious fact that I keep trying to tell you how versatile this record is in that it can be listened to and enjoyed in nearly any situation, and on top of that it has this quality to it which immediately distinguishes it from its peers, the thing you have to take away from this most of all is how much I like it.    There are artists and even albums for that matter I could say are structurally sound, though it doesn't mean I want to listen to them all the time if even at all.    TLVS has created something which excels on every level.

$15 //
Edition of 200 //

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