Amphetamine Kisses To The Night
Oct.14.05 Filed in: music
This week I have the pleasure of reviewing a cd by an unsigned musician who, a few weeks back, contacted me about the possibility of reviewing a cd that he had recorded independently here on twistedsun.net. His name is Alex Farran and the album he is releasing is called Amphetamine Kisses To The Night. After hearing a few streaming tracks he had online I as very excited to get a copy of the cd to review. Well a few weeks passed and there was a mishap with the mail service somewhere or another and I didn't get the cd as soon as I had hoped but thanks to my .mac account he simply uploaded the songs for me to hear and I am even more excited to review it now that I have heard the whole album!
From what I know talking with him he is currently living in Nottingham, England and he recorded this whole album in his home studio there in the UK. This is pretty impressive considering how lush the album sounds. He has been playing music since he was 5 years old and it shows! Its hard to believe that this young musician(just 20 years old!) releasing his first solo work to the world has created such a well crafted album! His influences span far and wide and include the likes of Elliott Smith, Sigur-Ros, Aphex Twin, Bjork, Tom Waits, Smog!, Four-tet, and others. The diversity of his influences really shine through as you listen to the album. Being a huge Elliott Smith fan myself I could immediately see a connection there which I am not pointing out as a bad thing. He shows his roots in a way that is very subtle and pulls little bits from all of his various influences. The melodic mastery of Elliott, the dense well produced atmospheres of Sigur-Ros and Aphex twin, and a bit of the edgy semi low-fi drum production of four-tet. He does all of this but also carries his own weight as a unique voice among these types of influences.
The album spirals around your ears as you listen to the music. Its kind of a surreal dreamy sounding album with layers upon layers of rich content that never conflict with each other. All in all its a very detailed approach that seems to flow naturally out of his mind and into the music.
Although the album is wonderful all the way through there are a couple of songs that stand out in my mind as highlights. The first track called "Misery Loves Company" Is a beautiful acoustic song with subtle hints of vinyl static and the dreamy atmosphere that sits behind the music and gives it its thick feel. I am a firm believer in having a great song to open an album and this is a wonderful pick because it's not to much all at once but its also not to quiet either. The next track called "Voyeur" starts to show off some of his ability to layer tracks of audio to a point that makes it rich and thick but not to overbearing. The interlocking melodies work very well here. "Defining Anomalies" is just an all around killer track that I find new favorite moments within it each time I hear it. "Paint me a Parachute" is another wonderful acoustic track that lets his subtle singing and song writing shine through... The further I dig into this album the more I realize how much I really like it! Now that I am sitting down and reviewing it as a whole I am having trouble pointing out favorites because each song brings something different to the table. For instance "Immolation Blues" is a wonderful indie pop waltz and "Everything Sounds the Same" is probably my favorite track on here. I remember listening to that song for the first time and getting totally lost in the song and the words and when it ended I was sitting there in silence for a while before I realized that it had ended. I then hit play again to experience that again... and again. The album continues on and leaves me impressed as each song comes to an end and the next one rolls along behind it.
I really cant recommend this highly enough. The more I hear it the more I want to hear it again. Its been a good while since I have come across an album that takes me as many different places as this one. Im getting distracted listening to the album as I write this because it kind of draws you in. I know that this all just seems like a bunch of biased praise and I must be nuts or something to enjoy a record so much but this is what I love about music. This is what I love about a good solid record. The ability to put it on and get lost in each track without getting bred or having to skip songs to pass over filler tracks. Its albums like this that remind me why I am such a music addict. So, that said, I am going to draw this to a close and sit back to listen a bit more...
If you are interested in getting a copy of the album you can email him at Smogfalls (at) aol.com. He is in talks at the moment to get the album released properly on a record label so look out for that and I'm sure that after all of this praise that some of you are curious to hear some of the music and you can by heading over to this site to hear some streaming files.
p.s - ha, my dad keeps asking me what I am listening to... seems as though we have another fan on our hands... also, check out this weeks podcast when i post it for audio clips from the album as well as the spoken version of this review. That will most likely be landing sometime this weekend...