Songs From Bandcamp I Want to Write About, V. 1 (NEW TRACK REVIEWS)

On this blog, I write about what I want. It’s a passion project with no predetermined schedule or constituents besides my personal preference.  So here, in no particular order, are four tracks that can be found on Bandcamp about which I would like to say a few words.

“Fannie Lou Hamer” by The Chairman Dances

This year’s release from The Chairman Dances is a collection of biographical sketches of various social and political activists. The record covers wide ground in its chronicling of the tales of saints, protesters, and clergy.  The album’s shortest and simplest track imagines the atmosphere that would have been set as civil rights champion Fannie Lou Hamer and her companions sang hymns on their way to register to vote. Though this act would certainly bring great hardship upon them, the song supposes that the sense of unity in their praise and activism brought joy in spite of the oncoming troubles.

Check out this track below, and be sure to give the rest of Time Without Measure a listen as well.

“Phil’s Lament” by Actionesse

On their invigorating EP Mignon, Seattle’s Actionesse explore maximalist textures and dense rock arrangements in a rollicking 5-song adventure. In the release’s lone instrumental cut, “Phil’s Lament,” the band explores their array of influences, incorporating flutes, horns, manic drumming, and intricate guitar riffs in a track that feels punk, surf-rock, spaghetti western, and ska all at once. It looks ridiculous on paper, but the band manages to reign in any wandering inclinations, providing a focused take on various alternative rock styles.

Listen to the track and download the EP for free below.

“Other Mantra” by Seth Brown

Auburn, AL singer-songwriter Seth Brown recently released a third track from an eventual debut album. Brown has collaborated with W\A\M favorite Fiery Crash (listen to the EP they recorded here) and serves as 1/4 of the “indie surf/garage rock” act Lady Legs (check them out here). In his latest offering, Brown employs droning, ambient tones in musing that drips with reverb and longing. The two other singles from Brown’s solo discography are also excellent pieces of wistful, lo-fi soft rock.

Listen to and download “Other Mantra” below.

“Simple Products” by The Normal Knees

Last month, Chattanooga’s the Normal Knees released a song a night for a week, demonstrating the more subdued side of their sound and feeling more like the National than Nirvana. In the first track from this home-recorded EP, the Knees criticize settling for easy answers to complicated questions. The band embraces vulnerability and encourages the listener to do the same, insisting it would be a waste to do otherwise.

Listen to the track and download the EP for free below.

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