On the Bandcamp page for Bryce Kepner it says his album Transitions is the culmination of five years of writing, recording, re-recording, getting married, moving across the country, having two kids and settling into a nine to five career. The album is about his life.
This cold, hard fact I’ve learned after being in this business for twenty-five plus years is that the audience in most cases could care less about a person’s life, especially if it’s an artist that they haven’t heard before. The emotional connection that can happen is often a reflection. It might be a lyric or an idea that relates to their life. A possible truth, a situation they have encountered that creates empathy, etc. That human connection is why we gravitate towards certain musicians as if they understand something about us that no one else can. To further my point I often find myself more immersed in singers that chose to use “you” instead of “I” because I feel as if they are singing to me.
Transitions is certainly an album you can get immersed in. There is a sense of reflection you can hear in the music. The album is a bit somber all things considered. Kepner often laments about things. He questions if he can overcome situations, sings about hurt that is gone but not forgotten. On that note I didn’t feel like this was a pity party. His delivery is subdued but also soulful not unlike that of James Blake. There are some really great melodies as well. I was impressed by the amount of catchy hooks throughout this album.
There are some really well done songs on this album that feel contemporary and inventive. I’ll also add that it was hard choosing the highlights because I enjoyed so much of this album. “Start Again” was definitely one of my favorites. It’s more upbeat and sort of motivating but also just a great collection of tones, textures and rhythms.
“I Gotta Go (Right Now)” is so well done. The atmosphere feels so quiet as if you moved your hand the recording would catch it. I really loved the subtle percussive aspects. That’s really just the beginning but I wouldn’t miss “Sky Dreams” either. I thought the songs were really well crafted and it felt obvious he took a lot of time making these ten songs. Recommended.
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