American Watercolor Movement – If The Painter Were a Photographer
There’s something very interesting about bands and artists choosing to release a selection of b-sides and unreleased material later into their careers. For fans, it’s a chance to gaze into the inner-workings of the group and witness the songwriting laid bare.
If The Painter Were a Photographer is included on American Watercolor Movement’s b-sides collection. And, although not intimately familiar with the group’s music, I can’t help but feel that little outside pressure was exerted about the writing and recording of this.
If this is artsy, then it’s artsy for art’s sake. The music reveals itself very slowly, like a dream you’re liable to have after ingesting too much caffeine. Things speed up and slow down, with the music barely able to keep up. There’s something about this that invites multiple listens in spite of barely being a song at all. It is what Donovan’s Atlantis would have sounded like if the curly-haired troubadour had had his mellow yellow substituted for some brown acid.
Stevie Dinner – Card Declined for Pizza & Wine
Stevie Dinner sounds like the kind of group whose members have spent an inordinate amount of time stuck in front of their laptops, probing the internet for strange trends and eerie rumours. In many ways, they are the perfect representation of quarantine-era music should be, much more so than rock and rap stars showing off their car collection.
That’s not to say that the sound is a failure on the part of Stevie Dinner. They openly describe themselves as experimental rock, which you might have already guessed judging by the artwork alone.
The same artwork also reveals that the group has a sense of humour, albeit a strange as exemplified by Card Declined for Pizza & Wine, a nifty piece of indie-rock bizarreness that sounds as if it was created to soundtrack 90s computer advertisements.
The song is a lot to take in. Many things are happening, usually at the same time, and few of them make sense. That’s just how the band likes it, I suspect.