Brian Gallagher is Pennsylvania-born and bred, but musically he was nurtured in The Contemporary Music Center in Brentwood, TN. A drummer for other acts, this five-track EP entitled You, Me and the Sky is Gallagher's attempt to write and record his own music, an attempt proposed by the Contemporary Music Center.vThe second and fourth tracks are basic alternative/emo rock and roll affairs. The drumming is great and the guitar playing is solid but otherwise they don't have too much going on for them. The second track “The Heart of It” is more like a Jimmy Eat World affair, the fourth track “Waste My Life” is the sad acoustic-based stuff that wafts from the entrance of an after-hours cafe. So if you like that stuff, you know what to do. The other three tracks though are very much worth anybody's time.
The opener "Moon Song" sounds like it could be an early Explosions in the Sky outtake. It has all the sounds: heavy-ass percussion, glistening guitar chords and suddenly-there-and-not crescendos. It's awesome and makes me think of walking along a beach when suddenly I step on a landmine. It's that sort of cinematic quality that keeps the song strong. The percussion and the glistening guitar sound, as I said before, is prevalent throughout the album, but it's felt most strongly on this track.
"The Fool" features Jennifer Budd on vocals, and if you ask me the name of this act should be Brian & Jennifer. He and she do this cool Asobi Seksu thing where despairing female vocals run headlong into a guitar-made wall of sound. Awesome stuff here, especially the washed-out but not washed-up guitars. It’s also a wise move to include a live track in your debut EP. This one in particular suffers no quality issues and does great justice to Budd's warbling moan. I got excited when I saw "Cloud Song” (featuring Jennifer Budd [again!]) on the track list. Totally thought it was a cover from The United States of America's classic 1968 self-titled. It's totally not a cover. At first I was insulted, like I personally took Gallagher's decision to not rerecord "Cloud Song" as a personal affront. But it's cool. Budd's breathy whispers and zephyr moans are gently dispersed through currents of electroacoustic rhythms alongside Gallagher's own voice. They deliver a confident duet, magnifying simple ideas with grand eloquence: "Dear sun, beam through, light upon my face/For warmth emerges to enter another day." Some cool stuff here. It's basically three-fifths of an EP that's enjoyable, not just listenable. Hats off, Gallagher
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