As if the opening song title on this EP from Delaware’s Surreal Nation wasn’t intriguing and appealing enough for first time listeners, the high energy and uplifting, organic warmth of the instrumentation almost certainly seals the deal. Would You Do Me The Honor of Becoming My Mexican Divorce?, a song that proudly and boldly introduces the I Know Better EP, is as colourful and melodically infectious as any great punk-pop hit from the past couple of decades. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the staple diet on the project. Even with the move merely to track two, the title piece – the mood and underlying sentiment of the songwriting shifts in a completely new direction. That element of intrigue is alive and kicking, and with every lyric and every moment of emotion and melody, there’s something exciting and addictive to embrace.
The title track is a huge song, not as instrumentally layered as the opener, but big in a passionate and striking sort of way. The presentation of the lyrics has a hypnotic effect, the sort that has you following the imagery along and all the while contemplating the depth of the concept and its relation to you and your life. It bears listening to more than once for the entire truth and artistry of it to really connect in a lasting way, and it’s more than worthwhile delving in for that. A definite highlight.
I Can Feel The Night keeps things evolving further, offering up a notably pop-inspired energy that comes with a certain poetic and melodic softness. The song lays the leading vocalist’s performance quite prominently within the mix; you can hear the intricacies of the emotional journey as the whole thing progresses. There are so many lyrics here that once again it feels like a song that needs more than a single listen to fully immerse yourself in it. That’s one of the great things about this band actually, their creative expression has an authenticity to it that offers no apologies and nothing but realness – real music, real ideas.
Complacency is nowhere to be found on this project. Hangtime turns on the soulful, spacious, riff-led delicacy of a partly acoustic, incredibly raw piece of jazz-infused folk-rock. The song builds in intensity throughout, but as is the case with the majority of this project – the sound is beautifully organic. You get a genuine sense of what it would be like to witness a live show, and for those who live locally or happen to stumble upon the chance; that’s undoubtedly something to check out in the coming months. You can easily enjoy the musicianship and movement of the music throughout, in just about any setting, though if you choose to – you can take on the additional blessing of these unpredictable and thought provoking concepts.
Spirit is Silent brings things to a finish with a gentle folk-rock or ballad-like track that gently closes the curtain on what has come to pass. The leading guitar riff and the melody line, fused with the lightness of the beat and the purity of the leading voice, makes for a calming and memorable end to what is a notably colourful and unexpectedly versatile collection. An exciting release from a talented and uniquely thoughtful band of creatives.