Archive for January 20th, 2022

January 20, 2022

Thursdays With J.R. – selfpity

Thursdays with J.R. is our new weekly column from lifelong musician and lifelong-er music fan J.R. McIntire, drummer of Arctic Char and multi-instrumentalist on more projects than we have bandwidth to list.

Sometimes beauty can come in small, short yet noisy packages. Take “Dead Dreams” by Canada’s selfpity, my spin of the week. Guitars wash over you quickly as the music starts on a collision course towards your brain. “You are alone” cuts through the mix as the first line of lyric. I believe they are doubled with a lower octave track that creates one collective sound for most of the song, certain lines poking out at you for added effect. The drums at first seem simple and punchy, yet tight and fitting. However, when the song really opens up in the middle there are ghost notes and snare work that shines through. These are either analog or whomever programmed them has a drummer’s ear. Waves of guitars swirl around and upward while the bass dives into the tonal depths of the mix to drive everything forward. Altogether it works to create a beautiful, upbeat yet dark noise.

January 20, 2022

The B-Side: Instant Smile

If you have a deep affinity for synthy side of 80’s alternative like we do, then there’s probably no more appropriate band name in existence than Instant Smile. Be still our art school dance party hearts! “Love’s Petri Dish” sounds like a lost early Depeche Mode classic, back when Dave and the boys weren’t quite as glum. Don’t get us wrong, we like the glum stuff too( which is apparent to anyone who has spent much time on our site), but this is a blurpy, blippy ray of sunshine for people who don’t spend much time in actual sunshine. We’ll always love a love song for the outsiders, and this is no exception. Instant smile indeed.

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