16 November 2010

Alphafalls (Part One)

One of the amazing things about the Internet is the ability to discover and track artists, new and old. And though we are living in a Facebook-revolution world, the reality is that MySpace is by far superior for discovering music – the search options allow for this. And one of these bands that I have been tracking and intrigued by is Alphafalls. Hailing from Springfield, Oregon USA, Alphafalls is the moniker employed by Luke Scott-Hinkle. The band’s MySpace page (and homepage) has an interesting description that immediately caught my attention: “If the Beatles had grown up listening to modern pop and Seattle grunge, you would have Alphafalls. Classic song form meets current sounds…”

And so started my intrigued, but then again I love nascent artists, because they have more possibilities than established ones. Generally, by no stretch of the imagination do established artists have major shifts in what they do, so I am intrigued to know how Alphafalls will continue to unfurl.

Alphafalls recently released their debut album, “The Missing Seasons” (8 August 2010 via download, USA). I will be taking a very careful listen to this album in the next few days, but I thought I would share my experience first of when I lurched over to the band’s MySpace page and listened to what was on offer. Currently there are six songs that are streaming on MySpace (and of course, I am going to put my two cents in on each one). The album consists of eight songs, two of which are not streaming … and of course they are presented in a different order – which can radically shift your perception of them. And for that matter, I am not sure if these versions are “faithful” to the album versions. But think of it like this: these are my first impressions – not my dissecting of the album.

“Adam & Evil (This Time)”: one of these short songs that pack more power than you would expect. Scott-Hinkle uses one of my favorite metaphors in this one: Adam – you know that feeling, of feeling that you have everything but no one, or at least no one worth holding onto. It is a universal feeling once you have been on the dating scene for too long. But “learning to stand on my own feet again” is something we all have to learn if we are going to find our happiness.

“Feels Like Goodbye”: I love the guitar arrangements on this one and the simple and ambient keys in the background. In one simple phrase: this mid-tempo song is beautifully sad.

“Frozen Moment”: Poetic and visceral, Scott-Hinkle croons, “The smell of your lips lingers as into you I bleed.” Eerie, but brilliant.

“Love Me Back”: The vocal arrangements are most distinctive on this one; think of typical grunge style singing meets acoustic rock. It is not a combination that one would really think of using, but Scott-Hinkle wraps the song in a savvy rhythm that carries the song.

“Said That You Would Be”: This one breaks the mold: the vocal arrangements, the keys for more than just ambience, and the general ethereal-esque feeling of the song make it a standout.

“Drink”: Here is a mantra for you: “Let’s drink till we die.” I think that line sums up the nihilism and dejection of the song’s lyrics, yet the music does not play pantomime to the lyrical content. Imagine this: the music captures the lethargic mood one goes through before thinking about giving into nihilism and dejection.

So, my advice, check out the band’s MySpace page for a taste of what Scott-Hinkle has to offer. And if it has captures your attention like it did mine, you may want to seek out the debut album, “The Missing Season,” which I plan to listen to this weekend. More to come very soon.

Keep up with Alphafalls at their homepage and MySpace.

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