Essential Forever – Walk
Not nearly enough praise has been given to the studio-wizards making soft-rock records during the 1970s. Before producers could call upon the help of DAW and computers to smooth the edges off of some of the bands that they were recording, it was up to people that had holed themselves up in a studio for most of their adult life to come up with the goods.
Their music is less jam-based or aggressive than that of most of their contemporaries. Stylistically they lean on gentle, love songs when they can. The real enjoyment of this type of music can be felt once you really begin appreciating the pleasing sonic textures of these tunes.
Essential Forever, much like the oft-praised Foxygen, live in similar worlds, ones where harmony reigns supreme. Unlike the confusion of flavours of rock, Walk is an exercise in creating a compressed mix of pretty bass lines, prettier piano, and even prettier vocal melodies.
Ian McFarland – Longboarding In My Slippers to the Convenience Store
Some people’s hearts shatter like a glass thrown down the stairs immediately after a breakup. It’s not atypical for folks to start drinking or abusing their bodies in a bid to cope with the disappointment. Best case scenario, they manage to mitigate the self-destruction with some introspection and maybe even some creative work.
Others, like Ian McFarland, take it as a sign from the heavens to chill out, stop trying so hard, and free themselves from society’s constraints. His version of the vents that follow a painful breakup sound more like someone going on vacation after an exhausting period of hard work.
The mellow, hopeful Longboarding In My Slippers to the Convenience Store is a lo-fi rock number about finding love for yourself through the hatred of a former spouse or partner. Musically, this sounds like a chamber-pop record made in a leaky basement on stolen equipment.