I’m going to welcome myself back after a couple month hiatus. *Welcome back, me!*
Sorry about that. It won’t happen again, I promise. Now on to the point of what I’m doing here.
So I’ve been searching for some good things to review and have come up short on a lot of fronts and that may or may not have been why this has taken so long. Okay, it’s got some accountability but the rest is pure laziness. But today, I’ve found something for current and future. I’ll be looking at Izzard’s ~Soda Island Songs~ which will be a precursor to a review of A Trip to Soda Island by Soda Island aka Izzard. Sorry if that was hard to follow along with. You’ll get it sooner or later.
~Soda Island Songs~ isn’t new. In fact, it’s about a year old. Which is okay. I’m a huge fan and almost stickler for new music. I feel like I can’t listen to old music because I’m constantly missing out on new creation/expression. But even though ~Soda Island Songs~ is a year old, it’s new to me. That’s how I’ll justify it.
First off I’ll just say that this EP is extremely ethereal. It flows, it curves, it waves, it bends. Sometimes there isn’t that backbone to hold everything together which can give you this disorienting bend that makes you feel like the train isn’t falling off the track but going upside down. The first track is Empty Skies. Damn. I feel like I’m walking through clouds in zero gravity with this track. It’s spacious and a little dreamy. Just enough to bring you back down to get ready for Ghost Naps.
Now when I heard the first chord of Ghost Naps I immediately thought of FEZ and can still get that vibe throughout. And trust me, that’s not a bad vibe. It’s probably my favorite video game soundtrack ever made (excluding Legend of Zelda because c’mon). Ghost Naps is organic and still has a little bit of that dreaminess you hear in Empty Skies. It has a flow that’s a mix of a synth orchestra, dissonant chords, and a soft lead bouncing along the spine of the track. You can’t help but get lost in the strings until you hear a quiet break of only percussion and that soft lead. Introducing some vocal samples completes a good mix of spacious melodies and tip-toe synths until the last chord with the modulation turned all the way down. Dreamy.
I think dreamy is a good word for this EP. Each song has that dreamy effect and it may just be the reverb heavy piano/strings accompanied by the various noises like crickets, and percussion that sounds like rhythmic drops of silverware.
The third track Threads has a bit of a change in pace. It introduces Blankts to rule the vocal track. It’s a match made in heaven. The dreamy synth and soft percussion bounces along with the help of Blankts vocals to guide the track. Just listen and follow along.
The last track is probably my favorite if I had to pick favorites. Port Town is layered incredibly well and has a great progression throughout. You fall and get picked back up again several times. It’s a great feeling. It’s like watching a movie over and over again at different times of your life. Garden State means something different to me now than it did back in 2010. And that’s how Port Town feels. You get this feeling of sincerity and comfort and it evolves. While the synth lines may be the same, the mods/effects/tone sounds different throughout. I get a familiarity with it after listening one time. It’s like I’ve known the song for a long time and I just keep coming back. It evolves like life. Early we’re rough, jagged, not quite round at the edges, to bright and loud, to that same brightness just toned down a bit and maybe a bit more organic. Then we grow, we change, we evolve into confident, friendly, open, enduring. When you hear a tiny vocal sample back up this organic sound at the end fueled with a ride symbol and maybe even a snare drum, you feel like you’re done. You’ve made it. It’s complete.
Check out all of Izzard’s stuff here and I will be working on reviewing A Trip to Soda Island which is a full length LP done by Soda Island in my next one. Catch you then!