My Sister, My Brother
Nothing Without You
TBR: March 6th
This sparkling EP has been written by a trio of talents made up of Grammy Award nominee Garrison Starr, Sean McConnell, and Peter Groenwald. Already hailed as a songwriting supergroup by the luminary magazine Billboard, this new work is said to explore what it is that makes us human. It's not always good-natured, not always nice, but how does it sound? Perhaps the song-writers had their own unique ideas on the subject. With equal work from all three composers to bring this EP to the shelves, a diverse and philosophically entangled set of foundations have culminated in this one record.
The music begins with its title track. Nothing Without You begins with harmonising voices, both male and female. A piano joins the melody with a unison of flow which raises the lyrics up on its waters. Strong notes push from both singers in beautiful swathes of melodic timing. A story progresses, it's asking for help in darkness with a glowing spirit that radiates belief. The song evolves to a chorus of memorable words which hang around after the music ends.
Next, a guitar with steel strings plays a folky melody made of shifting chord structures. Again, harmonising voices grow like blossoming trees across the hillside of tone. Each line in the verse brings another line of flowers into the open, releasing sonic perfume in lapping gusts of mild breeze. The song talks about life not being fair and we have to get used to the fact no-one's keeping count. We have to make up for our lost opportunities and unfinished business. Drive You Home perhaps is that friendly chat we have when things didn't turn out the way you wanted. We can only achieve what's available, but in this world it seems everything or nothing is.
This is followed by a keyboard with alluring tones playing meaningful chords. A ballad of lyrics begin singing in emotional story-line verses. I Don't Know How To Love You talks of the blockages to honesty and understanding that hold us away from each other. A seductive rhythm and heart-felt choices in the synthesiser arrangement give this song a deep and sad feeling which also feels quite warm and appreciative.
Electric guitars and drums begin a rock song for the next track. It has a Fleetwood Mac feel about it, as the beats hammer down against chugging distorted guitar chords. A vocal melody brings forward a sunshine element that causes the curtain of sound to draw back for a verse. The chorus begins after a handful of words, and that powerful kinesis strikes back up again. Smashing cymbals and drums match sustain electric guitar and sleek acoustic which find a companionship in harmonica somewhere in the middle. Forever Now is an uplifting celebration of feeling in love with life itself.
Honest comes at the end. Perhaps this is always the way when we are afraid of change and empowerment. A sombre vocal swings back into a love song style, and admits that what you see is what you get because for this individual, change is too hard. I think in life that we all are able to make many changes but there are a few that we simply can't make. It's important to understand where our potential growth stops, maybe it's the support or maybe it's just reality. Pianos, guitars, and open-hearted vocals spill forward in a creamy and addictive serenade to the truth.
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