Welcome, to Emotional Overtones, the feature that set out to overcome genre borders and create a more intimate relationship with music! We here at Everything Is Noise think that genres can sometimes be a little limiting, which is why I created this feature. Every episode of Emotional Overtones will feature a certain emotion (for example: Melancholy, Euphoria, Apathy) as its topic and four to five writers will chose records based on this emotion or based on memories that conjure this emotion in connection to this record. There are no limits to genre, length, style, or band; everything is allowed as long as the writer feels it’s right and can explain their stance. This feature will be an ongoing series for various emotions of varying complexity.
Today’s episode features the very open topic of Silience. Silience is an Italian word that describes the beautiful art hidden all around us, sometimes even in close proximity. This pleasant topic will be tackled by our writers Ash, Billie, and Piro.
To me, Perdition City is the noir melancholy reflection of untapped potential, a depiction of silience through a narrative that has very nearly lost hope of such a concept. Its image and its music exudes this feeling, not the least with the album subheading of ‘Music to an Interior Film.’ The album is minimalist by default. All components, be they jazz trumpets, electronic blips of percussion, or heartfelt vocals, seem to come and go in blurry swathes of distant thought.
Layered by a tragically romantic gloss of longing in an urban setting, Perdition City evokes the sense of gliding with a kind of semi-purpose through a built-up time and place where human interaction is commonplace, but fairly hollow. The slow-burning but utterly mesmerising tone of the music depicts the spark of human ingenuity made dull by the constraints of generation-x sordidness. The love, creativity, and explosiveness of forward-thinking is a mere undercurrent to the mightier torrents of regret and self-deprecation. And though peaking in activeness at several points, it’s this defeated sense of self which ultimately takes the throne.
Yet somewhere in it all, that morsel of determination to be true to one’s self exists. Our trusted music-incarnate narrator had to have first been aware of the silience of his surroundings to make such a heartbroken analysis of its concealment in the first place. Perhaps Peridition City is a mere respite, building up to the day when the lost hearts of humanity can unite their inner beauty and creativity in favour of a more prosperous age.
When I think of silience, for whatever reason, my brain lunges in something of a knee-jerk reaction towards Dionaea’s Still. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me as to why this occurred in such a manner. As I dwelt on it more, the explanation came forth slowly yet steadily. The record plows through a series of vastly different styles, ranging in expression from ethereally soft to balls-to-the-wall heavy, with a nearly seamless style of transitioning. This is just the kind of range we all go through in our day to day lives, if we reduce the length of time and keep the proportions there. These transitions also happen to all of us, simultaneously, and in random orders and sequences – seemingly similar to how the techniques present on the album unfold.
Although, unlike the fashion in which we deal with things, the album excels in prowess and delivery. We have a more linear and unilateral approach, or maybe just a haphazard one at times. However, when we stray from our molds, in those rare occasions we achieve that aforementioned dash of excellence. This scintillating dash is sometimes barely noticed, other times it is lauded with thunderous applause. The dash that this album is unfortunately falls into obscurity, just like most of ours. By all means, this does not demean the intrinsic value of whatever that dash may represent. If anything, I think it makes it even more special, since it takes a fair amount of searching and digesting to process what is going on. Thus I feel that, Still, is the epitome of silience.
When I first read the definition for silience, I was having a very hard time trying to decide on an album in all honesty. For me, silience encompasses a lot of meaning while simultaneously being incredibly hard to pin down. The part of the definition that really resonated with me and my search was ‘the unseen portfolios of aspiring artists – which would be renowned as masterpieces if only they’d been appraised by the cartel of popular taste’.
When I reread the definition and got to that part, my mind immediately went to Little Tybee. For me, they are hands-down one of the greatest bands currently active. I love every aspect of this group of musicians, and I think that if they had the right eyes on them they could be huge. That is not to say that they are an underground band. Little Tybee does have a bit of traction behind them now, but I feel like they are still far enough away from the common eye to fit this definition.
Their music is astounding, and there are so many small aspects that make it a huge sound. Their diverse brand of prog rock saturated in folk and a lot of experimental vibes is infectious. The subtle piano keys and strings that permeate the atmosphere of album opener “Loaves of Bread” tie in so well with the superb guitar of Josh Martin and the incredibly high vocal pitch of Brock Scott. This is one of my favorite albums ever, and I truly think it is one of the reasonably buried gems that is not flawless, but still close to perfect.