At first shake it would seem that there isn't much to be said about an EP that only runs around twelve minutes over the course of seven tracks. Likewise, one might be challenged to say much of anything in such little time. Tyler McDermott hopes to prove both of these notions wrong.
Music To Your Ears is an offering of acoustic songs recorded simply. The effect is a dreamy, slow-turning world floating between McDermott's minimal playing and whispered delivery. Fans of the current folk environment will find themselves quite comfortable here.
So then, what is McDermott about? This is the only real difficulty with Music To Your Ears. The longest song is roughly two-and-a-half minutes long, which doesn't leave much room to communicate ideas lyrically. The opening and ending tracks are, in the nature of proper intros and outros, purely instrumental pieces (with the closer, the title track, standing out from the rest of the EP with beautiful piano flourishes). In the remaining space we're given quick glimpses into a world where everything seems somewhat distant.
We have the usual yearning and loneliness (“One More Love”), a quiet struggle to maintain one's self (“Reckless Seduction”), and what I assume (hope?) is a nod to the red string of fate packaged as an abstract love song (“Red String”). Those scoping the songs for the stories beneath will find that the vocals at times get lost beneath the guitar making it a little tricky to hear things clearly if you aren't using headphones.
But McDermott has quite a few great lines here waiting to hook your ears (“There's a fine line between fear and despair/we were given a choice but were to scared/ to try something that might crash and burn/it did anyways” from “Fading Faster”; “My heart pounds like I'm on cocaine/when you're around I barely know my name” from “Only More Love”). These and other lines hint at a subdued wit pulsing beneath some of McDermott's hopelessness. On one hand I wish he'd given himself more time and space to continue playing in such a way, but on the other hand the compact nature of the songs ensure they pack a strong punch without overstating themselves.
In the end Music To Your Ears is an effective opening salvo. Though some may pass over it due to its short length, those who give it their attention will no doubt want to hear more from McDermott in the future
Become A Fan
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