I told Alex Drosen that I hate writing music reviews and I stand by that. Ok, sort of kinda. It's a half truth. I quite like writing about music. I hate trying to justify my opinions of music. I hate tuna fish. Nobody's ever asked me why. If they did, I'd be a bit flustered. I don't know why I hate tuna fish, I just do. The taste just doesn't appeal to my palate. But then why do I like other fish then, eh? It's not reasonable, really.
Likewise, I feel like a lot of my opinions on music are stupidly unreasonable. I like instincts. I go with 'em a lot. Throughout the history of humankind, folks ain't never really been that much worse off sticking to instinct rather than reason in their everyday lives. It's true. I think that holds doubly true for the arts. It's rare to produce some especially great art in a completely planned, pre-meditated state. It sure can be frustrating as all to try, though.
I don't love Sit and Melt
and I'd be lying to Alex and anyone else who reads this shpiel if I said I did. Mostly for those unreasonably implacable non-reasons. I do like it and think it's quite remarkable, though. What the hell was I doing two years ago? At 18? Not making albums, that's for sure.
Sit and Melt
is some 30 minutes in length, broken up into 24 tracks. It's seems like a lot to swallow in such a short frame, although nothing clocks in much longer than two minutes. Production is remarkably clean 'n sharp for a bedroom project, much more than one might expect. While not too densely layered, Sit and Melt
is very much a work of nuance. Appreciation is doubled with a good set of headphones.
Tracks range from the wonderfully melodic ear-opener "Today" to the cavernous bounce of "The Deep Inner-Sanctum of Jilbert's Dairy," all the way to the aptly titled "Stridulation." The last two track titles mentioned are very expressive of Drosen's approach to music making here on Sit and Melt
; he explores sounds that give definite imagery. "Sleepless Night" sounds like insomniac music, a red-eyed exploration of nocturnal creativity. "Did You Just Feel a Drip" is the leaky kitchen sink, filtered through some electronics and built into a downpour.
On the melodic side of things, Drosen proves able to craft memorable phrases which worm into the listener's head. The ambulatory rhythm of "Salivary Foam" hints at this ability, as do a great many of other tracks. Arguably, the most rewarding feature produced by Drosen's sense of melody might be his ability to create those sleepy, ethereal melodies, like those of "Paused Emergency" and "Bathing Angels." Those tracks, along with a few others, resemble the ambient work of Brian Eno but influences probably range much farther than the typical namedrops. The result is surprisingly catchy in a sense, but it is irrevocably beyond any convenient sense of the word.
The best tunes here are those persistent ones though, the tunes that stick to yer ears. And there are actually quite a few. But the fleeting nature of the album seems to keep the listener at arms length, always wanting more. At least I want more. Some tunes are just so achingly pretty you want them to last a little longer, to do something more, to hang around for another minute and a half and have a drink, put their feet up or whatever. Because of this, it might be easy to overlook the fact that these songs are very much well developed for what they are. It's easy to miss how well they march in a steady progression from start to end.
As far as instrumental albums go, Sit and Melt
is far less tedious than a great deal of 'em, which is to say it's not tedious at all. That right there is a great success. But more than anything the greatest appeal is the massive amount of potential going on here. These are some seriously wonderful peculiar tunes. I don't know Alex's creative process but it is apparent he's not prepared to follow. Sit and Melt
has a beat of its own. Who knows where that beat will take us in the future?