Future Self – By Silas Fermoy*
Now this is the kind of album I have been waiting for! Clouds That Dropped You is something that sounds new enough to be exciting, but familiar enough to be instantly appreciated. His picture may look a bit like Justin Timberlake, but according to his bio just five years ago Joshua Mash was playing gigs in NYC under the name Shilo Andrews – now he is Silas Fermoy and the sky is the limit. I foresee great things for this talented, fresh and innovative artist.
On the first track – “Passed Time” – the Hammond Organ sound starts simply enough, with a little choral reverb and static-y sound featuring prominently within the clearly sung lyrics. You’ll notice this sounds a little bit like the Killers, but more upbeat and lighter – with a great indie whine on the guitar solo. The song is catchy and pleasant, with a message about how “you never grow but you feel safe anyway” that breaks into a call-and-response-chorus with a great complexity of sound effects. It finishes with that cool, retro fade effect that I adore.
I think the second song is my favorite – it is both romantic and poetic, while being edgy at the same time. Then it just bursts into a full blown chorus with rolling drums that call to mind the days of 311 from the 90s (remember “Down”, “Amber” and all of those great sounds?). The vocals are ultra-echoey here, with a lower register twin on the backing vox – think Temper Trap on “Sweet Disposition” and you’ll know exactly what I mean! I think the downtime break in the middle is really good, and there is also an ethereal and dreamy bridge with great guitar that drops back to remind you of some of those emo bands you used to love, as Josh croons (“In this boy’s world, in these green eyes, in these cruel skies”)…
If I had to choose a least favorite, it is probably the title track (#4), as it is definitely the slower and more lyrical song on the album – like a carefully crafted Guster song. I have to admit, there are eventually great drums here, just like on the whole album – it really moves into a driving piano-based beat on the chorus. I can also see a little Arcade Fire influence here, with a great rocking guitar under delicate vocals. However, I do feel like sometimes the songs on this album move through too many elements and exploratory phases in a short time span – personally I think it is OK for a piece to just sound like itself. With that said, there are absolutely no moments when the music is stagnant; when the songs do not feel full of movement. Change can be good!
Overall, I have to say that this release has so much energy, and attitude! I love Josh’s expressive voice, with the unique and extra-wobbly vibrato on the sustained notes. The music is definitely danceable on almost every track, without losing substance or becoming too “bubblegum”. And there is nothing distracting about the quality of the recording – it is truly a well-planned and well-produced piece of work. You will really enjoy this!
Link To Full Review (Commentary on All Tracks) at ETTG:
Link to Preview Tracks on Google Play:
Link to Purchase Album on Amazon:
*Originally published as full-length review with commentary on all tracks; published on the ETTG blog (www.eartothegroundmusic.co) on April 19. Image captured from ETTG website.