Burson Sprague is a young electronic musician who creates experimental chill wave music. His latest effort Hey Stay is a solid effort that is not unlike some of Aphex Twin’s softer pieces like “Finger Bib” which has a soft wave of sound that revolves around percussive elements. Some of the songs hit a bit harder like “To The Stars,” which is more dance oriented. While the songs show a lot of promise he is ultimately restricted by some of his resources. For example, as impressive as it is that this was all made in garage band it is also its biggest weakness. Nonetheless, these songs show promise for the young producer as he broadens his pallet.
The first song ”Please” was pleasant enough as it starts with a declaration about his motivation for making music as a warm electronic piano plays a simple melody. The drums are subdued yet complex and create the backbone of the song. On “Do Not” some good ideas were used but not perfectly executed. A steady yet distant drum kit was utilized as flourishes of eastern strings occasionally came into existence. A simple synth tone was used to create an uneasiness throughout the track. “Ascend” does exactly what you expect from the title as it sounds like it is ascending. The song revolves around arpeggiated notes that loop as they become higher in pitch. The main issue here is the mix itself when everything plays at once. There is noticeable digital distortion and well as not enough separation amongst the instruments. “To The Star” was one of my favorite tracks, which brought a welcome change of pace. The song was more dance oriented think Daft Punk if they took a couple of vicodin. The last song unfortunately suffers from some of the same issues as “Ascend” in that once too many elements are introduced the mix sounds are distorted. That being said there are some good ideas in this song. I enjoyed the unconventional use of strings. This album shows me that Sprague has good ideas and a lot of potential but at the same time would benefit from either refining his skills as an engineer or collaborating with someone who know a bit more about creating a mix.
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