Living about five minutes away from the University of Memphis, I’m fully aware of the seemingly unlimited amount of talent that spills out from their music and production schools, so when I saw that Aaron James, who just released his debut EP titled Here Comes The Rain, studies there, my expectations immediately arose. To be honest, I was not at all underwhelmed or disappointed by this EP, and it’s safe to say it lived up to my expectations. This wonderfully produced EP offers its listeners a complete emotional evolution over the course of just four songs through sentimentally provocative lyrics, dissonant soundscapes and melancholy yet tuneful melodies.
I really enjoyed the way that James blends the simple sound of an acoustic guitar with technologically rich soundscapes. Oftentimes serving as the warm center of the music, the acoustic guitar allows for more spacey and ambient textures to surround it, creating a fuller and more complex sound. “No One Knows,” my personal favorite and second song of the EP, is a really good example of this. Along with a lot of my favorite albums, I noticed that this EP thrives in the details. For example, throughout the EP, the reverb added to the vocals was consistently terrific, and I found that to add a lot to the overall sound experience. While on the topic of production, I think it’s important to note that it only adds to the music, really allowing the listeners to experience the music in its fullest.
I’m oftentimes pretty skeptical in regards to the notion of a “concept album,” but I think that the EP does what it sets out to do pretty well. James states that Here Comes the Rain is“a love story told over the course of a year with each song representing a season of the year and a different stage of love,” and, entering the EP with this in mind, I think that it’s pretty clear the season that each song represents and how the emotions conveyed in those songs consequently represent the aura of each of those seasons. Citing inspirations such as Bon Iver and Iron and Wine, the theme behind this release falls right in line. James certainly captures the emotionally resonating nature of his influences, exhibited in the dynamic nature of songs like “The Space Between” with its dramatic and powerful crescendo toward the end along with its personal and intimate lyrics.
Not only would I consider this to be a strong debut release, I would consider this to be a strong release in general. It is of professional sound quality and production, the music and lyrics are well-written, and the attention to detail is present. Hopefully I will be able to see James play sometime in Memphis this year.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook