While volunteering at this years Calgary Folk Music Festival i was taken aback from a local artist by the name of Evan Freeman. Specifically i was actually liking the music quite a bit, which is notable as i didn’t expect to like any as it was the Calgary Folk Music Festival. Also i was puzzled as the band during their song “Halo” hit with some rockish guitar chords, that honestly had me questioning whether the band was too heavy to be playing at this festival. Also, he was good. Like memorably good, his songs had hooks, and honestly that’s pretty notable for a local band.
So based on these revelations and despite the highway robbery prices of Cds at CFMF (“Luna” was $25.00!) i decided to support what i found to be a promising local artist.
THE TRACKS (* denotes a notable track)
- Here With You*
- In the Midnight Sun
- Science Fiction
- Wind Machine
As the classy yet icy art work might suggest, the album’s over all atmosphere lends itself to spacious chilly soundscapes. With all of the songs never breaking from creating the feeling of driving along the Highway 2 during a winter time sunset, and while this consistency is one of the albums strengths it also creates one of Luna‘s biggest weaknesses. As all of the songs tend to blend into one another and not in a good way.
Freeman has the right idea in front loading the album with his best material, as the title track Luna sweeps in with its violet drenched guitars and echoy vocals. Here With You follows step with the title track but does so with a different rhythm thus avoiding a sense of monotony. Dreamer uses its shoegaze influences to great effect with the albums first and best breakdown, whose energy is continued with the great Halo (which contains those aforementioned guitar hits). However something happened as i went further into the album; i started to notice that all of the musical ideas of the opening four tracks were beginning to crop up again and again.
For starters Evan Freeman uses the very similar iambics in his lyrics throughout Luna, usually stressing the first syllable in a DA da DA DA daa manner. Another is all of the breakdowns; and before we start we have to state that i love breakdowns, i really do dig that shit. But there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing, and Luna has no less than four in an album that has ten tracks, i thought there were more but i think that’s indicative of how i couldn’t tell the songs apart from one another. Lastly all of the songs are washed in as much echo and reverb as the mixers can give and all of this contributes greatly to the sameness of each song.
SHOULD YOU STAY OR SHOULD YOU GO
Luna starts off on a very strong foot, with a great opening four tracks that evoke all of the promised atmosphere and tone that the album art and track titles would have you expect. However i feel after track four passes by the lion’s share of musical ideas also goes with it. All of the songs contribute to the pervading atmosphere so successfully, it unfortunately has the result of the album maintaining an overwhelmingly homogeneous feeling to it. My recommendation to anyone is to buy the first four tracks individually as i certainly spent far too much to have been satisfied with the product.
That being said i do eagerly await Evan Freeman’s next album, as despite Luna‘s wrinkles it’s a promising start.