ALDEN GROVES - Reality Check - Stereo Stickman

ALDEN GROVES Reality Check


ALDEN GROVES drives with unstoppable creative passion on this latest project. Whatever you’ve heard from him before, Reality Check rightfully reignites a whole new vision of the artist at work.

Kicking things off with a vocal whirlwind of electronic, a Capella delicacy and soul, Talented tips its stylistic hat towards Imogen Heap’s Hide And Seek – laying bare pure emotion, intimacy, and outcry, as the singer digs deep into the here and now.

The title track follows and brings a quickly likable groove, clean production and subtle distortion, alongside that now familiar, deeply human vocal line. Another respected indie release comes to mind, On The Rocks, from Grieves – a yesteryear offering that gives this song a wonderful touch of passionate nostalgia.

Not to get too lost in comparisons though, these are merely minor traits of appreciation alongside a genuinely refreshing experience that walks to the beat of its own drum. Great riffs, great melody, great insight. A uniquely creative yet satisfying piece of contemporary sound-art.

The Odds proceeds to toy with the very foundations of modern music. Seeing a hip hop verse step up to the stage, alongside a notably experimental soundscape, ALDEN GROVES again professionally resolves any dashes of darkness and uncertainty with a smooth and fulfilling hook section. During a quiet latter half, you quickly come to appreciate ALDEN’s lyrical presentation. This is the human consciousness, expressed in a genuinely new way.

Wanted seals the deal on the production front. A disjointed yet calming ambiance, partly industrial, rhythmically shoulder swaying, heavy but in a warming, sleepy manner. It’s the details that make it work. The vocal is distant now, the colors and layers make up the journey as this diary reading takes place just across the way. Then there’s the structure, a fine use of contrast, and the general underlying sentiment that shines brightly throughout the evolving composition. And once again, another simple yet superb hook. Effective, mainstream-catered songwriting meets with uninhibited artistry in a stylish, hypnotic way.

Things switch lanes a little for Mirrors, Magnets. Still, this is Reality Check, this is ALDEN GROVES – performing and producing this journey. Here there’s a 2019 or Post Malone style flow and set-up. A touch of organic instrumentation, multiple layers of vocals, an uncertain verse followed by a beautifully comforting chorus. Perhaps the most addictive, memorable moment of all.

At the final hurdle, ALDEN moves from abstract poetry to outright personal intimacy and, with that, vulnerability. Possibly the most impressive, long-form and fascinating yet ‘complete’ feeling song on the project, Astringent breathes new life into the 2020 music scene. Varied vocals that meander from quiet whispers to absolute outpourings of emotion and longing, a simple, even minimalist beat, that still somehow feels powerful. Lashings of poetic images meet with a declaration of love and conflict. A superb song, with three beautifully crafted sections that lead the way well towards an ultimately immersive, wholly enveloping and dreamlike anthem of a big finish.

Beautifully done. A brief yet bold little masterpiece of an EP.

EP Out February 20th. Check out all of ALDEN GROVES music via Bandcamp. Find & follow ALDEN GROVES on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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