David Prince spends most of his time laboring over computer modeling at Towson University in Maryland. Somehow he has found enough free time to make music in his dorm room and home studio. He is clear about solely writing music for himself and his enjoyment, music that doesn’t seek anyone’s approval. Everything is recorded, mixed, and mastered by Prince himself. You can definitely hear some of the graininess of his process in the recording. Organicus strays away from Prince’s first electronic dance music album to more folk acoustic work. The sound aims for Fleet Foxes style vocals but lands closer to Dashboard Confessional, especially with the at times aggressive strumming.
“Black Clouds Hide No Silver,” as well as most of the tracks, begins with acoustic strumming before taking off into the lonely lyrics. I found this five and a half minute long track a little slow to start. It successfully picks up around 3:55 during the bridge with the solo harmonizing vocals in the background and the repeated “now I fall to the pains of the earth” in different timbres.
Although many of the tracks are simple and repetitive in structure, “Signs of Spring” stands out for its creepy intro beats and metallic banjo picking sound. Prince’s anxiety about stolen work comes through in the darker sound of this track in conjunction with the lyrics “what great mind / did you steal that from.” The intro on the Bandcamp link for this track states “This is a song about people who steal your damn jokes.” From the intro I would expect a lighter, more carefree representation than the given “Signs of Spring” that struggles with spring’s late arrival. Prince must be attached to his particular humor.
“Life Was Better” is my favorite track on the album; it’s sincere and realistic about the depth of its melancholy of two people who finally realize they’re better off apart. Prince extols the problem of love where you lose yourself, “I used to live my own life/ but now I seem to only live yours.” Although the subject may appear over represented in folk music, Prince’s despondent banjo picking and earnest vocals captivate the listener, who is relieved when he repeats, “My own life can finally start.”
At times Organicus feels like a stereotypical heartbroken folk album but there are some prize moments where Prince conveys an impressive depth of feeling, especially alongside the banjo. I would like to see more complex composition and song structure in future work.
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