Jake Dryzal aka Blue Navy is an artist from Pennsylvania who recently released Ours. His album is a lo-fi effort and will resonate with fans of artists like Stars of the Lid, Windy & Carl, Ian William Craig, Auburn Lull, Ride etc.
It’s a complete DIY effort made on minimal consumer gear. The results are impressive but falls short of the production value of the aforementioned artists. I think the aesthetics are a vital part of the music he is making. Lo-fi simply is much harder to get away with here
All that said there is a lot to appreciate here. He opens with “Grace” which is indicative of the sounds he will present on the rest of the album. The song is a mix of clean guitar, vocals harmonies and synths. It’s ethereal, cosmic and also felt like a proper intro.
Up next is “October Through” where Dryzal shows off his vocals. The vocals aren’t particularly dynamic but fit the music. One thing that is too dynamic is the music. The whole song needed to be compressed by at least 3 -4 dbs. I had to reach for the volume knob a couple of times because it got so overwhelming loud.
“Reflection I” is a highlight. The guitar is more prominent and the focal center. I enjoyed the vocals but they needed some clarity in the mix and maybe even another type of effect if he wanted to treat them more like another element rather than a lead.
“Goodnight Sweet February” goes into shoegaze territory with obvious comparisons to bands like Ride and Sigur Rós. There are moments that work and other ones that don’t. I couldn't make out what he was saying during the spoken word section which if you are going to have you should be able to understand. There are some inspired ideas on songs “A Pin of Leaves” and “Reflection II”.
If Dryzal is going to continue to self-produce I think a little more knowledge on advanced reverb techniques and dynamics should be his first priority. On that note he may want to consider working with an experienced producer as well to make these ideas reach their full potential without having to get more educated on advanced production techniques.
Dryzal is a talented artist with a boatload of potential. I like where his head's at and am excited to hear his evolution. Recommended,
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