Here’s a quick tip. If you self produce your own album with a laptop, an audio interface, a couple of sm57s and no to little production experience you're not going to have the audio fidelity of a Radiohead album. The majority of DIY albums sound like demos and it's better to undersell than oversell. Don’t say you sound like a mixture of The Strokes and Flying Lotus because you will skyrocket people's expectations.
I appreciated some of the blunt honesty on the Bandcamp page for Awaken by Treasure Town. They mention how the album was never properly mixed, the recording wasn’t that great, etc. and I appreciated them being upfront. There was something charming about that.
Awaken is far from perfect in the production department. That being said the band showcases a good amount of talent with fairly stylistically scattered songs. The best thing the duo has going for them is the music in general feels uninfluenced by one particular band or genre.
The band opens with “Ocean” which has a singer/songwriter, even a reggae, vibe that meshes with more modern sounding aesthetics. It’s a pretty catchy song but the song was so soft and really needed at least a halfway decent mastering job. “The World Will End in Rainbows” was a highlight. I enjoyed the momentum that mixed with the melancholy on this song. The vocal performance was good and the first three minutes worked wonderfully. Once the distortion is introduced the lo-fi quality of the recording starts to make the song buckle.
“Aquarium” has tender, warm moments as well as harsh almost indignant ones. I preferred the subdued vocals over the nasally pop punk inflection that arises when the song gets intense. Kudos for the band attempting something so dynamic and contrasting but the juxtaposition felt a little abrupt.
The next highlight is the closer “Future...? (Future).” It’s the most intense song with some of the catchiest vocals. The song showcases some innovative ideas. I like where their head was at with this song.
If the band is to continue to self-produce the best advice I can give them in the production department is to learn how to use a limiter to increase the volume as well as make the volume consistent song to song. Most DAWs come equipped with a stock limiter which will the do the job just fine.
Treasure Town is a duo with a good amount of potential. There is plenty of tweaking exploration and evolution to be had but that's what the artistic process is all about.
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