Love - and all of its attendant passions - has got to be one of life's biggest inspirations. After all, it touches on absolutely every single aspect of human survival - warmth, comfort, food, shelter, companionship - eliciting all manner of visceral reactions.
For how influential love is, on art and life in general, it's hard to summarize what exactly it IS. There's so many different aspects and kinds of love, and each deserves its own encyclopedic value.
In life, as in art, there is every kind of love, every nuance of relationship. On Peripheral Love, Jamal Traub who is from Chattanooga, TN, explores these nuances in exquisite detail, in a tapestry of gentle, fingerpicked guitars, breathy poetic vocals and subtly swinging jazz-brushed percussion.
As a child, Traub explored the countryside for every kind of wildlife, creating elaborate terrariums of turtles, frogs and lizards. Traub shares the same taxonomical instincts towards romantic experiences and relationships. Take "Corner Of Your Eye” poetically exploring a lover's shifting identities as their interests wax and wane, or the ebb-and-flow of a complicated relationship as in "The Fall.”
While the relationships and emotions discussed on Peripheral Love are intensely complicated, the music is not. Traub listens to old school Stevie Wonder in his downtime, giving a yen towards sweet, smooth and soulful blues-soaked ballads. Musically, intricate finger-picked country-blues Americana style guitar meets non-conventional lyrics, which come off more as short stories than hooks or choruses.
This is one of the only stumbling points on Peripheral Love. Musically and sonically, Traub plays it pretty conventional working in outdated, retroactive styles. The lyrics sound like slice-of-life short fiction, however, or concrete poetry.
If e.e. cummings were to write delta blues about polyamorous relationships, or you needed a soundtrack for a hypothetical Raymond Carver story about a threesome, it might sound a little something like Peripheral Love.
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