by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
Tomorrow I’m posting an interview with It’s True’s Adam Hawkins as my weekly column. If you’re out and about, you can read it in this week’s issue of The Reader, which drops today. The interview attempts to answer questions about It’s True’s breakup after last year’s MAHA Music Festival, as well as talk about the band’s rebirth and new EP, Another Afterlife.
It’s rare that I gush about an album that’s yet to be released (the CD release show is April 1 at The Waiting Room), but I simply can’t help myself with this one. Another Afterlife is hands down one of the best collections of songs I’ve heard from a local band in a long time, and sits among the best nationally released CDs I’ve heard this year.
Consider it an evolution in songwriting and style. When It’s True’s debut CD was released back in ’09 — there there, now… / i think it’s best… (if i leave) — I thought it was a nice little 4-track bedroom recording of solo acoustic folk songs, sweet and unpretentious. Then came last year’s more formal self-titled release that was basically a re-imagining of the songs on the debut with a full band. Hawkins and Co. took simple ideas and made them sonically huge, at times a little too huge and ponderous for my taste, yet it was unquestionably an impressive step forward that a lot of us thought would be a launching pad to bigger things. We all know what happened next.
Now on this slight, 29-minute EP, Hawkins takes the best ideas from his first two efforts and hones them to perfection. At times I’m reminded of intimate, early Simon & Garfunkel. Other times (especially on the more instrumental tracks) I think of the best of Badly Drawn Boy. But overall, Another Afterlife is a refinement of Hawkins’ own songwriting voice, and what a voice it is. Both lyrically and musically, he’s cleared away the clutter and brought his songs down to core ideas that are consistently moving and entertaining. I love this record.
Kyle Harvey, who owns and operates Slo-Fi Records (which is releasing the EP), could have his hands full with this one if he and the band can get it heard by the right people. But something tells me that’s not going to happen, especially with the monumental task that’s about to confront Mr. Hawkins in the very near future, but more on that tomorrow…
* * *
Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
No Comments »
No comments yet.