The Grass Harp – Grecian Isle
Kids would, without a shadow of a doubt, be making the greatest pop music in the world if they were able to tune a guitar or play it. Sure, sure. I know what you’re thinking. Aren’t there plenty of pop bands that are comprised only of children? Yes, but the vast majority of those are made by their parents.
The Grass Harp sound like kindergarten children who have been left unattended for too long and somehow also possess incredible skill on their instruments. It’s the kind of thing that a music label would be anxious to provide a budget for and the sort of glorious sound that few established producers would want to take on.
What The Grass Harp’s “Grecian Isle” ends up sounding like is classical music written for toddlers. It’s fiercely psychedelic, but only in the fact that it makes absolutely no sense for people looking to get a pop hook out of this. The melodies and harmonies sound stripped from some 70s cartoons, and the arrangement is musically complex and bizarre. Who knew prog-music could sound so innocent?
Hani Abadi – Dementia
Genre: Alternative rock, Grunge, Psychedelic rock
The grunge bands from Seattle only enjoyed success for a relatively small stretch of time, yet few musical movements had a more profound impact on mainstream music. This style, and all of the other alt-rock styles closely associated with it, had as many fans as it had detractors. The critics who complained about it, more often than not, focused on the music’s inherent tendency to focus on the more depressing facts related to the human experience.
But who else in pop music dared speak about it? Sure, you get brief glimpses of humanity in songs like “Another Day in Paradise.” But, for the most part, commercial entertainment strives to make the audience forget about hardships. This is because you can only ask for money once you get someone comfortable enough and beaming with a smile to give it to you.
Thankfully, there are those who have other ideas. Hani Abadi’s “Dementia” is a confrontational piece of alt-rock. It puts the listener in close vicinity of a topic of mental illness. It’s not an easy conversation to have, not even when it comes in the guise of a three-minute song. Musically, Abadi’s guttural vocals and the grunge-rock arrangement dominate the track. It’s a musical journey, even if the destination eventually reached will not involve happy endings.