Smile Politely

B-Sides: July 2013

Jay Moses — #TheGenius EP

Hot off of his collaboration with Young Blu, Jay Moses turns the focus back on his solo style with #TheGenius. The result is six tracks in number, but nearly enough material to fill a full-length. The tone starts out serious with track one, “Unapologetic Confessions (Introduction),” a stream-of-consciousness, spoken word piece that flows a little like Kerouac with a hunny sack. Music jumps off with track two, “ACT I: New Testaments of Genocide on Good Morning America,” a three-parter that starts dark and low laying the base for Jay’s vocals. Moving through “ACT II: You Like the Vamp Life” and “ACT III: The Most High Score on Grammy Night” (separated by the intermission track), closing out with “Just Begun (Conclusion),” there’s a lot to take in on this release. It’s not one you can step away from while each track unfolds — Jay wants you in it for the whole show. The EP blends flourishes of spirituality and social commentary with lyrics about female fans and amateur pharmacology throughout, though the latter subjects seem like they’re being celebrated and mocked at the same time. The beats and samples are well executed and complement the lyrical flow. Dive in to this when you can really give it a listen and you’ll be rewarded with some seriously well-crafted poetry and production. — Jason Brown

Thin Gin — Thin Gin EP

Thin Gin’s new self-titled effort, which is also their debut release, is an exceedingly well-assembled and carefully thought-out body of work. This is not to say that the record lacks that certain touch of humanity that separates a good piece of music from one that is technically right, but doesn’t seem to actually say anything. The folk instrumentation combined with the modern-ennui storytelling of the lyrics themselves recall ex-locals Coed Pageant, while the electronic elements of the music connect the archetypal stories in the songs to the present moment. While not every song on the record is an absolute gem, the work is, as a whole, an exceptionally heartfelt addition to a genre that can often lose track of the human element, as electronic experimentation overwhelms the soul of the song. Thin Gin pull off the trick of avoiding over-saturation at either end of the spectrum: electronic features don’t drown the song, and the folk portions pull on the heartstrings just enough, without turning a song into a soap opera. This in itself is an accomplishment that should merit Thin Gin’s record more than a casual listen. — Kirby Jayes

Cassius — Live at Error Records

I can’t name many artists that have made me want to explore Indie Rock more than I normally would, but I would consider Cassius to be a start. As I did a little research on the band, I found them more appealing because they just started in December of last year, and Smile Politely ran an interview with the band a short while back.

As I embarked on my new musical journey, I was already deeply into it. I really enjoyed the feeling I got while listening. I felt as if I was in a movie, something like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I really enjoyed the ups and downs of soft and gentle sounds and I loved the more intense sounds of the drum. The music gave my ears a roller coaster of guitar melodies, banging drums, and even the tiny details of the glockenspiel. All in all it gave me good feelings and that’s what music is supposed to do anyway, right? — Taylor Polydore

B-Sides is a monthly article designated for local albums released that might get overlooked for feature articles, but are definitely worth discussing. If you’re interested in your band’s record being featured on B-Sides, let us know at [email protected]. Note: Because some albums featured in B-Sides are released at the end of the previous month, we sometimes bump them to the next month.

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