Slow Buildings is a prolific band that has released three LP's and seven EP's since 2011. The band's latest is entitled The Joy Inside which is a six-song EP that chronicles the stages of a particular relationship for singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jason Legacy.
The opening song “Charmaine” concerns the singer’s attraction to a morally dubious, soon-to-be partner. I loved the jazzy/pop feel to the song which is somewhere between The Shins and Vampire Weekend. The vibe is so relaxing and serene. I absolutely loved the vocal harmonies that were happening in the song.
Up next is the title track “The Joy Inside” which is about the anticipation of a brand new relationship. As you may have guessed it’s upbeat and joyful sounding. There are a handful of catchy melodies and I thought Legacy’s vocals sounded exceptional on this song. “Healthy Again” is a denunciation of societal norms and expectations that are needlessly restricting both Legacy and his partner. It’s another infectious song with plenty of hooks but I have to give it up for the bass line. The bass drove the energy of the song. “My Finest Hour” is a celebration of their new found love and time together with the vocals and piano taking the spotlight.
“Red Eye” is a little more somber and melancholy given the subject matter of realizing the limits of this new found love. It’s also arguably the most unique sounding song. I’m not sure if that was a harpsichord but I thought the use of instrumentation, timing and structure was quite original sounding. Last but not least is “Out of Sight” which concerns the end of a relationship, and the suicide of a close friend. The song is ethereal sounding with luminous pads and comforting harmonies.
I like a good story but the main reason this EP is enjoyable is because of the consistently great songwriting. The songs have zero fat on them and there are memorable melodies left and right. In addition to that the songs have enough variation in terms of tones and textures to be interesting yet still feel connected by a thread.
The Joy Inside is another worthy addition to the band's catalog. Take a listen.
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