Damn, I cannot tell you how many times I checked to see that Philly artist Andrew Green is only twenty years old. He's got this new album out, Big New City, and it's a breakup album, true story, those are always my favorite. His sound is somewhere between shoegaze dream pop and ironic acid jazz. Even though it sounds like this guy has been through some serious shit, he's a whole lot of fun and I found myself smiling more than a few times which is no easy feat right now. I myself am going through the very serious process of trying to break up with this insufferable February weather. I promise I don't mean to make light of Green's situation, but he really has managed to make some top shelf lemonade out of his lemons.
The first thing that stands out to me about this album is how the music itself is kind of cheeky. He leans on instrumental sounds that are almost ridiculous, some are very dated and some I swear are just dicking around with me. However, it's cool, these songs often induce a healthy amount of head bobbing from me. I happened to be in need of finishing a painting that I really thought I was going to hate in the end. Somehow this album became the perfect thing to listen to while tackling this project. The smooth elements of jazz and R&B had me at ease, kept my shoulders away from my ears as I worked. He's also big into reverb and static. This fuzz was everywhere, almost like an instrument in itself. I think the fuzz translated well into how my body responded to the music. My hands were calm and I felt warm, which is interesting considering where I paint is often so damn cold I'm often swaddled in some hoodie/ blanket burrito.
Now let’s talk about what comes out Green's mouth. For one, that voice is a stone cold charmer. He has a very effortless tone and delivery, but it's not without potency. His lyrics are a measured mix of melancholy and pointed observations. His lyrics never take themselves too seriously. He can joke and laugh and it all works. It’s almost zen like, even when he is describing utter misery he does so with such an evenhanded approach.
This album was a bedroom project with a little extra help from a friend for mixing. From an assembly standpoint, I actually feel they really, truly pulled it off. I will always marvel at how easy it is to put together something so cool and so polished from home. It levels the playing field so that brokenhearted talents like Green can grieve from the comfort of their home AND make a solid album at the same time. This is the future folks, I love it.
Big New City is my favorite album so far this year, it surprised me in such an unforeseen way. There is something about Green that makes it so easy to relate to him and his words and the curious music he makes. Give this one a go and try and tell me you don't like it. Actually don't bother, because you'd be wrong.
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