Helen_of is the stage name of Troy Antonucci, a Brooklyn-based artist that writes and sings his own music. His sound incorporates many musical genres and textures, and he recently recorded, mixed and mastered a brand new EP titled Words Are a Crime. The album has folk roots and also merges sounds from indie rock, post-punk and experimentation.
This excellent EP starts us listeners out with a six-minute ballad titled “One’s Too Many TImes.” The guitar comes in first with a ton of reverb accompanying it, and sets the initial mood right away. It’s a harsh sound, but with a steady rhythm. This first track sets the mood of the album perfectly. This is an EP about a deep, dark moment of internal struggle reflected in the lyrics but also in the slow moving guitar and the twinkling, fading guitars in the background.
After the long intro, the EP moves to the track “The Eclipse” which has a guitar sound that is much more upbeat and a more melodic chord progression. The vocals are more calm, meaning they are not as dark or deepened as the first track. It’s as if the singer is moving out of the hole he was in the first track. The vocals are accompanied with echo-like piano in the background, which gives the song a calming feel.
The next track, “Pressure” has an excellent introduction. A slow, warm, calming and hopeful electronic chord progression sets the mood before the electric guitar makes its introduction with a twangy, grungy sound. There is a mixture of clarity and confusion in the sound of this track, it’s clear that there is an internal battle going on as it moves from a hopeful sound to a sad one.
From here on, starting with track number five, there is a much more cleaner and warmer sound throughout. This track starts with the neat sound of an acoustic guitar. The electric guitar backdrop and the complex mixture of sounds from all the other tracks are gone, and the acoustic guitar takes center stage. The rest of the album has a warmer and happier sound instead and less of the grungy and confused emotions of the first four tracks.
Overall, Words Are a Crime is an excellent folk-like album about internal self-reflection. It is right in line with a lot of classic folk music themes about frustration and struggles, but this EP is all about internal frustrations not external ones. The sounds are much more complex and less straightforward than many folk artists, incorporating electric guitars, pianos and synths that add a lot of emotion. The album moves from a dark, deepened sound to a clear and warm sound that moves us through the internal dialogue and the clarity the protagonist experiences.
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