Originality. Let me write the word again ‘Originality’. It’s a trademark that is hard to find sometimes in the swimming pool of sing and songwriters who go for the traditional way of using their voice in combination with a snared instrument. A acoustic guitar is the most used, a harp, banjo or ukulele is already considered in many circles as being ‘alternative’ , which might have to swim in the other pool in which little kids Heath up the water with tiny flows of urine.
Originality is maybe a thing that is hard to find in the sound choices of self-performing singer songwriters, which (unlike if the voice of the singer has extraordinary features (a Macy Gray on a banjo would be original)) could become quickly a moment for the listener of being like a fish with a memory of just a few seconds. ‘Hey did I not hear this song before? ‘ and then a couple of seconds later ‘hey did I not hear this song before?’
Sometimes all these fishy thoughts don’t do Justice to the actual music. The style might be done before and even if the voice isn’t featuring distinctive features; it doesn’t mean that the music is not pretty or at least listenable. It might not be mind-blowing but as equipped with a memory of a fish; it might just be mind-blowing enough. (With all due respect for the fishes..)
This brings me on this ‘Dark Days EP’ by Secret South. It came here on my screen because of a bombastic promotion mail with a lot of screen filling pictures and exciting words of praise for another album.
In all honesty; I’m not a fan of these unwanted unpersonal promo mails; it’s a surprise that mail providers let it enter the normal mail folder and not add it to the millions of ‘enlarge your penis’ & ‘hello, I’m mister [insert a unpronounceable name] can you please claim your million dollars’ spam collection. Not that the content is spam, as the release (the first ever physical record of Secret South) looks delicious.
The pictures of the release (the artwork!) that was promoted looked great; nice packaging..
In fact I wanted to hear it, but for some reason I clicked my way around but listening was or unavailable, or surprisingly hidden well. I end up clicking on a link that brought me to a Bandcamp account which then ended up on this petite EP of this ‘Secret South’. A long story, right? But just so you know that I did not find this release completely by myself, which might explain the bitterness (and arrogance maybe) that could be read above in the part of ‘originality’.
Who cares about originality, anyway? It’s a thing easy to achieve, so why not leave it and just make music instead? And in that sense of the word this Secret South’s ‘Dark Days EP’ is original on its own terms.
It becomes even more fruitful in the title track ‘dark days’ which comes across as it’s done by a dark priest on a little ship-friendly miniature organ. The whispering voice sings something like ‘dark days are here’.. It isn’t a happy sounding song but unlike the first track ‘futures’ it is at least pretty original.
But then again in defense of ‘futures’ (a song unlike other songs featuring guitar and vocals) is a much more soothing song that is not scary, but more like a pretty time to swim in. No children’s urine over here in this swimming pool and a fish might ask if he or she had heard the song before; but at the same time wouldn’t mind to hear it over and over again. A good and smooth brain training for so well the standard gold fish or the more difficult fishes that are found in more appropriate luxury Aquariums. We humans can enjoy it too; there is no denying in that. ‘It’s nice music’ and a couple of seconds later ‘it’s nice music’.
The song ‘fireflys’ is a bit in the middle of ‘futures’ and ‘dark days’, not only literally but also style wise. It’s like the ‘Secret South’ uses a dimmer to smoothly change the mood from a light one into the one that fits the dark days theme. It’s the first moment that two voices that fit each-other well can be heard and seeing the whole little EP from afar I Would conclude that it’s a bit like we are listening to a converting process of hippy folk that slightly turns emo. ‘Hippy-emo-folk’ sounds like quite a original genre to hang on too.
It’s a bit of a cliff hanger this little EP; it’s too short to judge or to be fed to fishes with suicidal thoughts. ‘Shall I kill myself?’ And a few seconds later ‘shall I kill myself?’.
Also the ‘Dark Days’ song ends very abruptly, as if it is saying; **TO BE CONTINUED**
Which in fact might be continued on that new record that started this whole review. That mysterious good looking release brought out by this INVIDATION label (we call it ‘the email intimidation label’) that gave us pictures we could look at, but no full audio to swim in. But at least we have gotten a over excessive collection of words for a EP that Is just around 8 minutes in length.
Crazy times indeed! Hear it with or without fishes over at the following link: