“It’s sugary,” one of my friends said upon her first listen to “Vireo’s Eye”. “Overproduced crap.”
I was a little taken aback, to be frank, because not only had I never really been moved by music to “overproduced crap” levels of hate, but because if overproduced crap did exist in the world of music, it was certainly not “Vireo’s Eye.” The synths, yeah, they were kind of helter-skelter and overpowering at first, but they snapped into place with that rigid bass line after a few listens and it was all tied up in one huge, sweet, messy bundle by Samuel Herring’s vocals.
Personally I was a bit quicker of a sell; all I needed was that first line: “A loose and hazy time when you were not my clementine.” What’s a better representation of love lost than that? That’s most of the album, honestly. It’s Herring absolutely pouring his guts out (if it’s possible to replicate that exact sound over musical recording, he does it) over a melange of swirling synths and hitting that sweet spot where that noise becomes sorrow and sorrow becomes catharsis and we do it all over again on the next track.
In Evening Air
pulls no punches, bouncing from infidelity to broken dreams all held together by viciously pulsating bass and synth lines, Herring’s howling and a few metaphors of oceans and waves and kings and queens and things that I admittedly have yet to really wrap my mind around but make damn poetic couplets.
I assume the fact that In Evening Air
strikes a near-perfect chord with me probably means I sympathize with Herring’s various distresses more than I should. But his claim at the end of “Tin Man”-- a desperately repeated “I am the Tin Man"-- still leads me to a bit of confusion. Is that supposed to mean he doesn’t have a heart? I’m a bit troubled myself, but I’ve still got one, so I suppose that’s something.