Review Summary: Only now I realize.
Whenever I write, the ocean seems to imperialize most of my mind. The captivating view combined with the breathtaking sounds of the waves splashing harmoniously against soft sand is music to my ears. When I write, these visions of a low tide beckoning on the bayside enter my train of thought. It’s the subdued nature of the blue beauty that puts my thoughts to rest. Creating a tensionless void that makes me feel as weightless as air. The ideas then flow through my fingers and splash onto the page without a sound. Even though I try to write in a way that is similar to the flow of water, music has a way of prolifically feeding off of a free flowing structure. The musicians can do anything with it, even taking the extra step of creating a whole new substance. Some can even mold similar buildings, except decorating it in different fashions. Sunsets and Car Crashes is equivalent to that of a generic sand castle, with an interior that is to die for.
The Spill Canvas is mostly a one man band at this point with Nick Thomas being the kingpin of it all. As the main focal point of the music, his voice can be considered an acquired taste. At its core it’s that of a love struck young man focusing on taking out his teenage angst on his music. However, upon further listening to the album, one can discover that his voice is much more powerful than you may have imagined. It’s evident that the man is giving his all into the way he sounds. His whispers are dripping with social anxiety and his loud outbursts that give off a scent of betrayal and anger linger amongst the surface for the listener to digest. Armed with an intricate approach on the acoustic guitar, every line is stringed to sound different than the other; Creating a vast experience that even most folk artists fail to provide.
The writing is where the album prospers the most. Nick Thomas proves to be an incredible writer right as the first song concludes. Opener “Aim Snap Fall” shoots the album into a dark nightfall from the start. Themes of addiction, death, and depression are showcased right from the beginning. Though this opener is as dark as the album will ever get, it’s also the peak of happiness within the album with the hopeful “I think I’ve found my better half”lyrics concluding the song. “All Hail the Heartbreaker” stands out as a black sheep on the album. The song is filled to the brim with drums, bass, and electric guitar. This offers a reloading period for the acoustic guitar while also providing an intense look at the swirling mistreated love in Thomas’s mind.
There is one song on the album that far outshines the others though. “The Tide” is Nick Thomas’s golden achievement in the world of music. It drags the listener into the water and showers them in a thickening brine. The song tells the story of three children growing up before being swept away by the tide of broken dreams. Lyrics like “Heavens not a place where you go when you die, it’s that moment in life when you actually feel alive” are downright brilliant. The song escalates into a tremendous explosion of dread and misery. Tackling themes of divorce, growing up, true love, and even life after death; “The Tide” is something of its own. It’s a standing testament to this album’s modest success and it is an experience that every music lover should hear at some point.
This is without a doubt the ocean of The Spill Canvas’s career. While the other attempts do their best to fill up small holes with water, Sunsets and Car Crashes has already become a massive body of shimmering liquid. It flows fluently to the white tips of the land, while crashing down simultaneously on others. Even though the sea is not traveled on frequently, those who have journeyed across its surface know the beauty of the waves. Take this advice; and listen to this album.