Old Notes is a three-piece band hailing from Rancho Cucamonga, California that recently recorded, mixed and mastered this brand new album titled Former Self. The band got together after guitarist and singer Devin Trott recorded a self-reflective set of songs and decided it was time to put it all together into an album. Trott reached out to drummer Eli Martinez and the two teamed up with a bassist to record Trott’s songs and write a couple of new ones. These three artists put their talents together and created an excellent album with Midwestern style emo influences, twinkly guitars and emotive vocals.
This album is great because all of the songs are a reflection of the past, and move us listeners through a passionate moment in the protagonist's life. The album is an homage to the distant past, to moving away from home and dealing with all the difficult hurdles that it brings. It’s very emotional, but it allows us to connect with the band. The songs, different rhythms and transitions in the album reflect the difficulties, understanding and growth that the protagonist goes through.
Former Self opens up with “Urn,” an emotional song that sets the stage perfectly. The twinkling guitar and vocals immediately creates the tone. It’s slow at first, and somewhat dark for the first minute or so. About one minute in, the emotive band joins in with thunderous drums and vocals filled with angst. This song is about self-understanding, to realizing that despite the darkness life will go on. The singer tells us he is going to, “Put my ashes in the Urn.” It sets the theme of the album perfectly.
The album transitions to the second song “Ashes” seamlessly. The transition is smooth, like an old mixtape that was recording all in one take. There’s a strong connection between “Urn” and “Ashes;” the artist’s point is clear here. In this second song, we are introduced to melodic drums with a very nice, clean and stern sound. The drums add an excellent mood to the album throughout. For the first minute of the song, there are no vocals and the instruments take the front stage. The vocals eventually join in with a classic Midwestern emo sound. They are aggressive, but with a clear point.
This seven-song album takes listeners through a personal and emotional journey of self- reflection. The songs move from slow and dark, to energized and excited, and finally end with a calming vibe that let’s us know, “It’s all going to be okay.” The entire album is an experience of sadness and growth, and the emotions and melody in every track reflect that progression perfectly.
All together this album is about process and progress, and about moving on from your Former Self. It’s full of sadness and dark moments, but overall it’s a feel-good project. The recordings were excellent, the drums are immaculate with a very loud but clean sound. The vocals and twinkling guitars balance each other out excellently. This is a great emo album that is easy to listen to. It’s a great reflection of these artists’ talents.
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