For sure, the mathy elements in modern rock music found their roots in Jazz music. California native, Genevieve Artadi, who studied Jazz at CSU Northridge and CSU Long Beach joined up with jazz drummer, guitarist and guitarist Louis Cole in 2010 to launch their pop-jazz outfit, KNOWER. Their latest offering, Forever Forever, is a much more “indie” album, which recalls, in certain ways, Stereolab’s catchy output. But it is, definitely, more jazz-influenced, much more mathy than them.
The lyrics on the album are often simple but earnest. “Care for what parts of you are still alive,” Artadi sings on the stripped down, “Message To Self.” Her beautiful, floutish voice follows the complex chord changes, but it is as much an element of the musicality of the band as anything. This album is an aural treat, wowing you in much the same way that a jazz concert would, but in a way modern listeners, I think, will appreciate.
There are super optimistic songs, like the second song, “Visionary,” with its deluging drums and arpeggiated synths. “You laid the shore my heart sang for / Through every broken wave / You lived in me rebelliously.” There is actually a bit of a story arc, from “Forever Forever” to “To Tell How I Adore You,” where Artadi states, “Darling I hope one life will do.” In between, are songs about missing friends (“Until you return home I am wearing nothing but black shirts”), binge eating (“The stomach fills without thought / No one is where was left off / too predictable for hope”), and fighting with lovers (“Blind fighters / Each right brings tower to sand / blood from every blow that lands”).
For an album called Forever Forever (and hearing this you might want it to last forever), there is a lot of emotional range, underpinned throughout, with the hope and prayer that love will prevail. “Long as love is there / Life is you, you are the water,” the album ends. The album liner notes thank Thich Nhat Hanh, and there is a spiritual bent to the album, in its heavenly sounds and words. The hours of composition that must have went into this record are felt at every turn, and Artadi and friends build an ecstatic musical experience.
Order Forever Forever by Genevieve Artadi HERE
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