Days Away
Mapping An Invisible World



by sniper USER (7 Reviews)
January 26th, 2010 | 16 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A little-known gem of an album that deserves more attention.

On this album, Days Away was:
Keith Goodwin - Vocals, Guitar

Matt Austin - Guitar

Chris Frangicetto - Bass

Tim Arnold - Drums

Bryan Gulla - Keyboard

Days Away is a surprising band in that very few people have been exposed to their music, despite a fairly long career and a wonderful sound that deserves far more attention than it has garnered. The band formed in 1998, went through a series of line-up changes and released a handful of EPs before releasing Mapping An Invisible World, their only full-length, in 2005 (they disbanded after releasing a final EP in 2007). This record is reminiscent of bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and Death Cab for Cutie, but manages to find its own voice despite clear musical influences. On Mapping, Days Away makes no attempt to experiment much with the formula of their influences, but rather, allow their own character to seep into every moment of the album. The result is an all-around excellent, catchy, indie-rock album filled with intelligent songwriting, clever lyricism and and enough energy to make the formula sound fresh.

A short drum intro kicks the band into “God and Mars,” energetic album opener and first standout track of the album. The song features a subdued verse and a big-sounding chorus a la SDRE, featuring singer Keith Goodwin giving one of his better performances on the album. This song is memorable mostly because it is faster-paced than the rest of the songs on the album and really shows off a louder Days Away than is present elsewhere. As the album goes on, the band rarely retreads ground they have already covered, giving each of the songs a different enough feel that they never get boring.

The rhythm section shines throughout Mapping, the bass and drums locking in together to create some interesting grooves and textures, while the keyboardist adds to the general consonance of the band’s sound without ever really being very noticeable (apart from the odd bridge or piano line here and there). The band as a whole, but particularly the drummer, seems to pay a lot of attention to dynamic contrast to help songs move forward. The drummer does an excellent job playing sensitively, subtle and technical in all the right spots, and his style works wonders for the songs on Mapping. While not technically impressive by any stretch, the guitarists do a great job of getting the most out of the different sounds they utilize. Featuring moments like the distant lead guitar in the background of “Mirrors,” the quirky, underwater sounding verse of “It’s Not Over,” or the Circa Survive-esque noodly guitar line of “Stay the Same,” the guitars never bore, but never really get the chance to truly shine, mostly playing the part of support for Goodwin’s vocal melodies.

Vocalist Keith Goodwin elevates what would a great, but overall unmemorable album to an exceptional one. His wistful voice complements Days Away’s sound perfectly, and his melodies soar over the band and easily holds the listener’s attention through the album’s 42 minute run time. His melodies are catchy enough to stick in your head (I’ve caught myself humming “God and Mars” at least once a day since I got the album), and while he’s certainly no Anthony Green, he is a more than capable frontman, and he proves it consistently on Mapping. Lyrically, the album doesn’t end up being anything special either way. Goodwin’s lyrics are definitely not bad, but they are in no way remarkable; the album has its fair share of memorable lines, but I get the impression that the lyrics stand out more as a result of Goodwin’s sincere, powerful delivery than the words themselves. The lyrical content of the album covers mostly typical topics (relationships, loneliness, etc.), but something about Goodwin’s voice helps the words feel more profound than they should.

This album is consistently awesome, and although certain parts of the album tend to drag a bit, the highlights far outweigh the very few missteps Days Away make here. This effort is fresh, clean, sunny, and immediately likable, and has enough subtleties to make it rewarding beyond its initial catchiness. Overall, Mapping An Invisible World is a magnificent release in it’s genre which, for the most part, is totally overlooked. Well, now might be time to start paying attention.

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user ratings (75)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 26th 2010


Got this a few weeks ago, awesome album.

January 26th 2010


I'll check this out if you ask nicely.

January 26th 2010


Hey, I think you should check this out, you like a lot of indie/alt/whatever, you might enjoy it.

January 26th 2010


i looooove this

January 27th 2010


I'll try downloading this eventually. I swear.

January 27th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wow...this is what a year's worth of procrastination does for me. I thought I'd have forever to finally be the one to review this...nope! Oh, well....

Very nice review! Definitely does the album justice. I love how distinct each song is, which is impressive considering every song excluding the first and last tracks are between 3:15 and 4:00 minutes long. My favorites are "God and Mars," "Gravity," "Mirrors," and "It's Not Over," but the whole album works.

Hopefully now more people will get into this.

January 28th 2010


... a little sappy for my taste.

March 20th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

So I liked this. A lot. It reminds me of what Armor for Sleep could have been, if they toned down the sceneness and replaced it

with Awesome.

Guitars are my favorite part of the band, and the drum part on the verse of "Ideas" is divine. I'm not a huge fan of his voice but

it's getting there...

Edit: fucking formatting what the hell.

March 20th 2010


Yeah, I think this band really could have been pretty successful if they had stuck around long enough to get noticed. They were labelmates with a bunch of bands that got really big (Paramore, for one). I liked his voice, honestly the only thing that makes this not generic imo.

October 19th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Ah I love these guys. They definitely deserve more attention. I actually have been considering reviewing their EP, if I'm not too busy with college.

October 19th 2010


There's tons of stuff I want to review but I'm always working on writing for classes or just swamped in general. Sometime soon I think I really am gonna pump out a review for The Fall of Boss Koala. Definitely needs one.

July 13th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

Album kicks ass. Sounds like a tamer, more focused Circa Survive. Great stuff.

June 19th 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

I miss this band so much

July 30th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Album isn't even on Spotify =(

July 30th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Album is the jam, forgot there was a review for it

August 1st 2014



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