What a joy this is to discover. Just four songs full but overflowing with uplifting melodies, riffs, harmonies and hopefulness. The Pasadena Sessions is a gorgeous little collection of songs from a thoughtful and talented folk-pop artist and songwriter
Beautiful and Amazing is the opener and the perfect way to begin, the song explodes into this organic and classic feeling piece of music and appreciation. The creative behind it incorporates elements of folk, pop, and rock, all within the walls of a single track. The melody very quickly makes certain you’ll remember it, giving off a sense of it being a forgotten hit from yesteryear. There’s a comforting touch of nostalgia but there are also numerous moments at which some unexpected detail is thrown in to keep you on your toes – the electric guitar solo being a strong example.
Gimme Love follows on in more of a mellow, acoustic pop manner. It makes sense after the vibrancy of the first song to showcase a more personally reflective or delicate piece. This song offers a direct dose of inspiration, and it works – it calms you and promotes positive thinking. The music builds in a similar fashion, the passion rises, the harmonies brighten up the edges, and once again – that hook has the simple catchiness of any great acoustic pop song. The added benefit throughout this project is that you can hear the live performance, you feel as if you’re there in real time, and it’s highly likely that a show from all involved would be equal to if not greater than the experience you get right here.
Melody leans in a slightly more anthemic direction. The opening riff has a distant feeling of possibility to it, as if something epic lies within. What emerges is a delicate and deeply honest song that again underlines a new side to the songwriter. The performance is stunning, the leading voice presents a certain vulnerability here that ties in beautifully with the song’s concept and story-line. The personal touch adds something very real, and the saxophone adds something very stylish and increasingly appealing.
Less than half an hour later and you’re closing in on the final few moments of this stunning project. Walking In The Rain offers up perhaps the most personal and most revealing of all the songs. The questioning nature of the opening verse invites a sort of wondering about who the significant other is, or on the contrary – it invites the audience to consider the answers themselves. The lyrics on this one really stand tall, and the melody seems to contain equal parts sadness and optimism, giving off a powerful sense of contrast that powerfully reinforces the mood of the writing and the overall ambiance. It’s a memorable way to finish the EP and fantastic song in itself. That electric guitar steps back up to the stage to skilfully and seductively draw your attention right in for the big finish.
Production wise this project showcases a job well done. The live sound has been flawlessly captured, and not at the cost of professionalism or clarity. The songs are superb, the musicianship is on point, and I look forward to hearing what the future brings from Rex Macadangdang. Hopefully there’s a lot more in the pipeline.