We’ve all been there. The weirdo who can’t get with the beat, the vibe, the joy at that critical moment. Maybe we’re the straight edge friend, the odd man/woman out during a night on the town when everyone’s bacchanal tendencies stretch to the max. That familiarity moment/feeling is at the core of Alexis Babini’s “Everybody’s Drunk But Me”.
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Dan Reeder is a DIY kind of artist who is always creating something but not necessarily recording music for public consumption. He’s just released his fourth CD in 13 years, an EP as a precursor to a full-length production in 2018. The title cut “Nobody Wants to Be You” is typical Reeder fare: irreverent, strange and nonsensical. It is also heartfelt, bristly and fun. There are no hidden secret messages. What you hear is what you get.
The topmost appeal of Avi Jacob’s art is its honesty. Though his first memories consist of “feeling completely isolated, sad, and alone,” the Boston singer-songwriter willingly puts himself out there for his audience. The result is a warmhearted feeling attached to his overarching body of work, all set out to speak the truth, relating his melancholic life stories to others. Together, they achieve mutual healing.
With the four studio albums they have to their name so far, Belfast’s own And So I Watch You From Afar have perfected an instrumental playbook whose mantra requires a lot out of these musicians. Just about every one of And So I Watch You From Afar‘s songs involves the band tying itself into a series of seemingly irresolvable knots, with tricky time signatures and zip-fast guitar leads coalescing into mind-rattling figures. Yet by the end of each song, the quartet finds its way out. That is a rare act that makes a conservatory-worthy music clinic sound like an absolute blast; for a band of this caliber, it’s easy to indulge in time signatures as an end in of themselves, but these guys have figured out how to make instrumental prowess and infectious songwriting go hand in hand.