Ian Todd isn’t trying to make you dance. Todd mentions this about the songs on his new album “Seven Signs of a Soul“ where each song is based on a different clinical sign of life, applying mindfulness to music and taking it to a new direction.
This is a sprawling album that combines a lot of different genres. The thing I really liked about it is that Todd experiments quite often but it still manages to sound like a cohesive piece of work. “Movement Towards Motion” is the opener and you are greeted with sustained pads, saxophone and more, which reminded me of an artist like Tim Hecker. At first the feeling is quite ominous but when the drums and bass enter a more overt jazz vibe comes. It’s a slow burn and the vocals are fantastic on this track. Great opener.
Up next is “Don’t Forget to Breathe'' which is more upbeat and more groove based. Everything sounds organic and the drums gel perfectly with the guitar and saxophone.The song is explosive at points and at points sounds in the same zeitgeist as the band Grizzly Bear with flirtations in Baroque pop.
“Sense Of Sensitivity” is subdued and intimate. The vocals are more of a focal point here. There are more great grooves which unravel in an organic fashion. Nothing feels rushed and the song breathes.“Grow” is an interesting one. It starts off ambient with delayed guitar, bass and vocals. I was a little bit startled by the groove that comes suddenly in the middle of the song but man is it a cool sounding riff - the use of white noise with what sounds like African percussion.
“Made Yourself To Be” is arguably the most single worthy song. It’s catchy, a little funky and has a great hook. The great songs don’t stop with “What Goes In is What Goes Out” which is perfectly lush with fantastic percussion. I loved the juxtaposition here. The album closes with “Feel The Good Self” which is a mix of midnight noir and Tom Waits to my ears. It’s a haunting and beautiful closer and sort of ends with a nice message.
This is by far one of the best home recordings I’ve heard. Someone knew what they were doing because it sounds professional.
Overall, I thought this was an exceptional album. Highly recommended.
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