Heath Bark is a musician from New Jersey who recently released a four-song EP entitled Incessant Summer which contains songs from his upcoming album. Bark mentions “Incessant Summer is a collection of songs written on acoustic guitar generally with the finger picking style. It has a melancholy type quality to it and was inspired by Elliott Smith, Bob Dylan and Guided by Voices.”
The EP begins with “Mean” and between the guitars and vocals I did pick up on the Guided by Voices influence. That being said I was also reminded of Pavement. The song has a forward moving kinetic energy with great drum work. There’s some experimental aspects as will such as the pitch shifter which seems to be affecting one of the vocal samples. Great opener.
I absolutely loved the groove that “Jenny, The Actual Devil Is Here” starts with. It’s hypnotic with great guitar patterns and what sounds like an ascending and descending synth or guitar. The synth aligns into the proper key and thought this was a very cool effect. I was also impressed with the vocals which feel sort of chipper and are juxtaposed against a more melancholy type of canvas.
“Everyone Wants To Be The Reason Why” took me by surprise. This song is garage rock 101 and brings with a gritty and edgy quality. The vocals are again well done but there’s a different feel. It sounds like he’s working with octaves here. There’s also this dark and even ominous breakdown in the song around the one-minute mark in the spirit of a band like Nirvana or The Melvins.
I have to admit Pavement came to mind when I first heard “One Less Bark.” Something about the loose and almost playful delivery. The lyrics hit me here and was about a dog that had to be put to sleep. As someone who loves dogs this unexpectedly hit kind of hard. The song however is very catchy and starts to rock out towards the end.
I found these songs thoroughly enjoyable. The four songs display some variety to his sound and got me excited to hear the full length. Fans of the aforementioned bands should appreciate this. Take a listen.
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