Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Cassette Review:
Shia The Other
"My Flower Diary"
(Mount Seldom Records)

$6 //
Edition of 25 //
https://mountseldomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-flower-diary  //

If you've ever felt like you needed a reason to listen to cassettes Shia The Other will provide you with many.  One of these reasons can be found at the end of this cassette so let's fast forward a bit, shall we?   There exists a sixth song on "My Flower Diary" and it is exclusive to the cassette.   It is not listed on the Mount Seldom Bandcamp page, so it came as a bit of a surprise to me (as close as we can seemingly get to a hidden track these days) but it is on Shia The Other's Bandcamp page which is good for clarity.

Acoustic melodies create the songs of Shia The Other.   Perhaps described only as an acoustic guitar and a voice could be accurate but it wouldn't be the full story.   This gets you into one of those moral arguments of whether or not it is lying if you simply do not disclose certain things.   I've always said that has been seen as being not fully truthful and in this particular case you wouldn't do any justice to the music of Shia The Other to think of it as simply being a voice and a guitar.

With synth lasers that sometimes sound like birds at other times they sound like the type of vibe you'd get from a song by the band Schatzi.   It's not that the tones themselves change-- it's just that sometimes I hear them differently than other times, which might seem odd but whoever said sound had to be linear?   Some of these songs are instrumental, even though they are all around the same length and that is around a minute and a half each so they are shorter than standard songs.

Musically, this might be one of the most impressive collection of songs I have ever heard.  What these songs do is manage to combine so many influences that the end result is something completely new.   Though these are not the only influences and maybe not even the biggest ones, this reminds me of something like Lushloss in a modern sense and to throw it back in time the song "Keats' diaries" has a certain vibe of "Under The Milky Way" by The Church to it.

The fascinating thing about music to me is that you can take two instruments and create such different sounds.   If you gave someone a box of pasta and a jar of tomato sauce you would likely get the same result each time.  But with music that just isn't the case.   Don't get me wrong, you could browse several different genres on Bandcamp and find artists who all sound the same that fall under the guitar + voice song structure, but I feel lucky to have been hearing some of the stand outs recently and even more fortunate that Shia The Other is among them.

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