The Symbolists comprised of Scottish poet Carole Young and American architect and musician Eric Daum who have never actually met, but instead they have collaborated online since 2010 when Daum proposed that members of an online forum compose music set to poems written by Young, a fellow forum member. Their first album Devil on My Shoulder contains eleven songs of heartbreak and redemption, inspired by experiences in both Young’s and Daum’s lives.
The album begins with “Alchemy” a steady, upbeat electronic pop rock tune that employs synthesizer sounds, guitars, percussion and vocals to create a full soundscape. “A Lover Like You” harnesses ‘80s-esque ballad elements and pairs them with modern electronic techniques in an extremely intriguing blend and tone. Following, “The Rain” takes an experimental approach to song structure as alternating sections of quiet symphonic tones and sections of loud, dynamic guitar-driven choruses lay down the sonic foundation for Daum to sing over.
“Oliver In His Jesus Sandals” opens with one of the catchiest riffs on the entire record, one that repeats throughout the story-based song without getting old or repetitive. Young’s talent in writing lyrics is clearly evident in “Still Waters Run Deep” and “Faith In Your Convictions,” two reflective and thought-provoking pieces with a bright, almost playful edge in the music. Also, Daum’s composing prowess comes alive in “To Be with You Again,” a lush, beautiful tune led by piano and voice before delving into a delicate, string-rich ballad.
An experimental, ambient style is fully explored in “Paragon of Virtue” where vocal effects and ethereal sounds create an otherworldly atmosphere that is surprisingly peaceful and serene. Bringing the album back to earth, “Like In a Dickens Novel” is an unrushed, groovy song that leads nicely into “Symbol of Hope,” a song that crescendos in dynamic intensity until the very end.
The record comes to an end with the album’s title song, “Devil on My Shoulder.” Grunge elements are highlighted, and electronic sounds are also prominent in this final anthem. As a whole, The Symbolists’ Devil on My Shoulder showcases a wide array of styles and features many moments of musical and lyrical genius, making for a spectacular and particularly unique collaborative album.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook