“They say the one you’re waiting for only appears in your dreams, in the soothing embrace of slumber – the ultimate comfort and release before you awaken each morning to face yet another unknown tomorrow, and so on.“
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Having made a conscious effort to not compare this project to any previous releases from Lounge Act Jam, the experience of the full album took hold as something all the more powerful.
Self Pity lights things up, an instrumental piece with layers of classic dance synths in the distance, and a notably more up-front, retro melodic delivery to contrast that. Then you get the audio play – scratch-work, stops and starts, moments that make you question your streaming connection. It’s an ambient journey, but it’s loaded with deeper thought and a greater realm of intention.
Relax while you can, before Bobby Never Frowns kicks in – complete with its heavy, distorted wall of fuzz, and a near-punk-rock power-chord progression. Delicate vocals whisper a melody, a provocative, intriguing story-line, and help soften the blow of the music. Actually a brilliant song, strangely reminiscent of Overload from early Sugarbabes; melodically, mostly.
Eclecticism is key here. Whether the concept unites the songs or not, the mood of each piece offers something new.
Cave In (2016) comes through with that same familiar vocal, unique and a pleasure to listen to. The acoustic guitar picking is all that backs it up. The pace increases, the passion with it, and the melody is quickly entrancing, and wonderfully satisfying. A superb song, with a gorgeously raw, almost unfinished presentation, which really drives home that authenticity.
An ever-memorable Let Me Be The One You Want Me To Be comes in next. A complex soundscape, heavy bass-line, plenty of vocal intensity followed by welcomed moments of instrumental breakaway and experimentation.
Then you get the somewhat heartbreaking melancholy yet subtle, perhaps questionable optimism of All Well and Good. An acoustic strum, an arrangement of voices, that raw, unedited presentation – you know the sound, and you trust it to offer something real; refreshing.
Big Blue (Prelude) showcases a clear understanding of the importance of contrast and variety on an album. An acoustic guitarist’s dream, paired guitars paving their own way through a hypnotic rhythm and soulful melodic cavern. An effective build-up to the full-band brightness and funk of Big Blue. Another addictive melody, long-form and lyrically poignant – Maybe sometimes I feel totally helpless like a worm – just crawling through this thing called life.
Stay Off The Streets brings things to a colourful finish. A simple anthem of a track, with increasing layers of minimalism, proving to be an absolute ear-worm of a moment. Rinse and repeat, and again, and still you can’t help but let it play. Fuzzy bass, flickers of sci-fi, horns, guitar – forever the rhythm gathers momentum in a somewhat humble fashion. A lovely track, a mood lifter, with a single line of language that lingers in its proud, instructional glory long after the music has stopped.
Lounge Act Jam is one of those acts who consistently surprises, consistently refuses to adhere to industry expectation, and thus consistently offers something well worth delving into. Really nicely done – a strong playlist of thoughtful tunes and easy grooves.