Album Review: The Silent Years.
Way back in the summer of 2008, with the release of their second full length The Globe on the proverbial horizon, The Silent Years, hailing from my current neck of the woods, hit the “studio” to pump out what would become an EP entitled Let Go. I use “studio” here loosely because, well, apparently they weren’t so much in the studio the whole time as they were pretty much everywhere around the Detroit area (or, The D as it is affectionately known by my friends from around here). From lead-singer Josh Epstien’s bedroom to an abandoned health department building, Let Go took shape.
Detroit is certainly not the most aspirational place on the planet right now. Surprisingly, the EP seems devoid of any negative influence from The D. Instead, Let Go has the feeling of a Michigan summer day, fun and beautifully lazy. FYI, if you’ve never experienced a summer in Michigan, you should book yourself a vacay around Lake Michigan.
The ultimate test for an album, at least for me, is the car test. I need to listen to it in my car to really get a sense of how the album feels. After I downloaded the EP, I put it on my phone so that I could listen while I was studying. It made good background music for my mental struggles, but it was a while before I got it into the car. At first, I wasn’t really feeling it. There’s a saying around here about the weather, that if you don’t like it you should wait 10 minutes, and the same went for Let Go in a couple ways. A perfect example in the first instance is the track leading off, “Taking Drugs at an Amusement Park” (which I do not condone). The song (as does the whole EP) features a strong percussion element. In fact, “Taking Drugs” has an almost ominous feel to it before the Epstien’s voice shines through. At first, I did not like the juxtaposition; but, after I gave it time, it seemed brilliant. Like a storm rolling in, the sunshine will return shortly, and that’s the feel the album gave.
The other example that I noticed was, even though I wasn’t sure I liked the EP at first, I found myself unable to not sing-along during several parts. It gave it a fun feeling that was hard to shake. As the their presser says the EP is “unabashedly happy”. “I think it just summed up everything for me”, Epstien said of the album and it’s title. I think it does, too.
This is undoubtedly a summer album. Once the season finally rolled in, the tide started to change for it in my mind. During our unseasonably cold spring, I just wasn’t sure. A few days ago, though, the album started to make sense as the season finally changed and the perfection that is a Michigan summer decided to show up… finally . Come Fall, I will probably put Let Go on the shelf. For the Summer, though, it will be a staple in my car.
Let Go will be released on July 14th.
For a preview of what is going to be on Let Go, click here to listen to the single, Madame Shocking.
To purchase Let Go from iTunes click here.
To purchase it from Amazon click here.
*special thanks to SideCho Media for the Madame Shocking mp3.