“Self Titled” EP: Simeon Basil

This will be my 2nd CD review to date. I am glad Simeon Basil allowed me to discuss and go in depth with his “Self Titled” EP. Per usual with any of my music reviews, I will be reviewing each song one at a time. This commentary is based on how the music made me feel, think, the vibes the song gave off, and some technical music critiques. Please be aware that I am throwing out flavors and pop culture references that the audience might point out or mention while listening to each of these songs. I thoroughly enjoyed the artistic creativity put into this EP and listening was as if getting to catch a glimpse of the artist’s personality. Thank you so much Simeon and your music is purely you. Let’s walk right into this brain drain. Shall we?

1.) Low Fare
From the very beginning, you know this song is going to be upbeat and catchy from the rhythm alone. It gives off pop punk vibes and the singer's voice is reminiscent of the band Something Corporate. By listening, you discover what the definition of "low fare" is in comparison to a relationship. The singer references cheap travel to being the equivalent of unemotional love. The repetition of certain lines in the song cause the listener to be brought back to that moment again and again. This song represents an "anti-committed relationship" kind of mood. The singer even goes as far to say, "Don't need wishes or kisses, but I miss you." I love the range of vocals this singer has throughout this song. He delves into questioning love and reflecting on how it can be so indecisive. The diction and annunciation of the words are very clear and the tone is as pure to the pop punk genre as it can get. 

2.) Apples
Listening to this song made me think I had walked into a teen heart-throb scene from a movie based on a John Green novel. The intro drum rhythm at the beginning reminds me of "I've Just Seen a Face" by Jim Sturgess. The word "falling" sang in both songs is musically similar. I appreciate how the singer's vocals diversify and shift toward sounding rough and coarse to appear as a rugged traveler telling a story about longing for love. In the line "I've fallen for apples" gives the impression the singer is referring to a person that he has fallen for romantically. The lyrics throughout the EP speak to tell an emotionally charged story and this song is no different. He mentions regretting the past or needing someone in the line "Am I needed in your heart anymore?" The percussion instruments are performed in a pop style and folk undertones shine through as well. Along with the americana highlights, the artist does well at meshing two different types of music to create a song worth listening to.

3.) Siren
At the beginning of this song there is a dark musical theme that generates thriller-like suspense while listening. The slower intro foreshadows a menacing subject in the song later on. Using third person, the singer retells a story of distant past and takes on the persona wholeheartedly. Greek mythology was used metaphorically to represent the main focal point of the entire song: a woman.  A "siren" is a half bird/half woman creature who lures sailors to death by the sweetness of their song. By knowing this insight, it helps the listener fully understand the song title's overall meaning.  I found the mix of piano and percussion instruments interesting, but how he vocalizes the word "siren" seems a bit unpleasant, but I believe it was meant to be that way. As a nerd at heart, I sense Dungeons & Dragons influences within this song. The vocal stylings here resemble a lot from Death Cab for Cutie and the song itself has a mild sound of AFI's "Sing the Sorrow" album.

4.) Silk
I understand how this song can be likable through the narration alone, but it cohesively lacks context and is hard to follow. What I enjoy the most is the emotion and passion put into creating this track, but I do not know what direction the singer was going in. At first listen, the lyrics sounded like jumbled sentences smashed into a song to seem as if the singer is recalling a "silk-like" dream. From my perspective, it's as if he is trying to describe a dream within a dream and this may be why the repeated tone seems strange and the main subject gets lost. You never quite know what the dream is actually about, but you can only speculate and come up with your own theories. Is it about getting through a difficult situation? Is it about a person? Love? Individualized interpretation could be what the artist intended the listener doing all along. The beginning to this song expresses pure melodic pop and it works well with the singer's voice. I appreciate how clear the words are in the singer's execution and how he carries the listener along through story telling. Overall, the track presents itself as an indie version of a song that would appear in any romantic comedy film. The emotional and heartfelt poetry-like story depicted in the song is still a worthy listen.

5.) Uncommon Rain
This song highlights a romantic story about a poor boy working a dead-end job trying to please a girl. Folk-like narration is a common theme throughout this EP and it reflects deeply in this track. From the start, the singer presents a simple plotline and elaborates from there in musical verse. The phrase "Give it time I'll be on your mind." suggests time will cause a person to eventually think of someone fondly. Embodying the movement of a waltz in the rhythm, he uses percussion sounds resembling a crank organ, tinny piano, and a harpsichord all mixed together to create a carnivalesque type of sound. While listening, I found it hard to follow along due to the almost unrecognizable chorus. Instead of executing a typically structured chorus, the artist guides the listener into a nontraditional chorus beginning with the verse, "Why am I threatened by uncommon rain?" I appreciate the artistic liberty in developing a unique song composition, but it can get muddled together with the rest of the song until you have listened to it over 5 times. He recycles overused topics of love and past regrets, but musically retells the stories in a modernized fashion to make them more palatable to the ear.

Simeon Basil creates his music using heartfelt stories that require contextual fill-in clues from the listener. He is a true story teller and I did enjoy listening to the experiences he shares in this well put together EP. Simeon’s music can be found via YouTube, Spotify, and purchased from his website.

Keep creating and hold on to what brings you happiness.

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