The title of this album had me. ‘Slow Down, Rockstar’. Those are words that have always been hard for me to live by what with shows night after night after night but, with the current state of live music (or lack thereof), I’ve been forced to slow down. I’ve tried to fill my days with work and reviews but, the truth is, life seems to be going slow for me while whizzing by at the same time. I know nothing about Fallow Land other than I love their album title so let’s go on this journey together, shall we?
“The Things You Say” kicks off this album by creating a perfect atmosphere. The ambient beginning ramps up to a calming full band sound within the first couple of seconds. The first comparisons that came to mind with this opening track are Brand New and The Early November. The vocals are sensitive and the instrumentation a little bit understated while still drawing you in and commanding your attention without asking for it. I love all of the layers in this opening track. I called it atmospheric at the beginning and I definitely can’t stress that feeling enough. The layers of music wash over you like waves and it creates a sense of warmth and comfort that is not easy to pull off as a full band.
There’s a spacey introduction to “The Self” that’s captivating before the instrumentation and vocals clear up and comes in with a very rhythm-centric beat. Although this track is definitely artsy and mathy (a la Minus the Bear), there’s something very indie-pop about it. I could hear this song on tour with bands like Minus the Bear but also more mainstream bands like Death Cab For Cutie. The vibe continues for “The Time”. The amount of beauty in this track is breathtaking. The lyrics of this one caught me. Although the beat bumps up a little bit, the softness in the vocals keeps this track from feeling too upbeat. Even during the jazzy bridge prior to the fairly dancey chorus, there’s a delicacy that each note and word is given.
“The Body” amps things up. The guitar work on this track and the offbeat drum pattern had me stumped. I loved the creativity behind it and, to a casual listen, it just sounds fun but, to a musician, the complication of this track is heard loud and clear. The way the band does it with such ease on this recording had me stunned. I would kill to see them perform this live. I got completely lost in this track and was a bit bummed as the album moved on to “The Eyes”.
The softness that Fallow Land does so well comes back for “The Eyes”. I really can’t stress how much beauty this band puts into each track. Every note is intentional and comes with a sense of weight that is not lost on the listener. Even when the rest of the band comes in on this track, every word stands out while not letting you ignore what else is happening. The balance that Fallow Land has is something that I wish more acts would focus on and utilize.
The beginning of “The Dog Song” caught me. It’s a very repetitive bass sound (at least I think it’s a bass) and, although simple, it caught me a bit off guard because it seems a bit more aggressive and in your face than the atmospheric rock sound that has reigned supreme on the previous tracks. The song continues with this more aggressive and in your face sound. Almost edging to the world of noise (at least what I know of noise– I honestly don’t know much), there are moments of this track that feel a bit like chaos but the restraint that this band shows during those moments keeps it from falling off the tracks. Although I would have pegged these guys as a calmer band given the first couple of tracks, “The Dog Song” makes it clear that this band is much more than just that.
I feel like, although closer to the calmness of the first few tracks, “The Boredom” splits the difference between that calm and the chaos of “The Dog Song”. You can hear both moods in this track and, sometimes, at the same time. Although all of the previous tracks on this album are works of art, this one is a masterpiece and got a few listens from me before I moved onto the closing track.
“The Hope” closes out ‘Slow Down, Rockstar’ in a dazzling way. and I mean dazzling. Something about the guitar work in this track had me picturing twinkling stars. Cheesy, yes, but when you hear it, you will understand what I mean. It’s the type of track that is so easy to just get lost in which makes it the perfect ending track on this quick eight-song album. Although it drifts you off to dreamland, it also makes you want to go on this adventure all over again.
‘Slow Down, Rockstar’ is the perfect title for this album and that made it the perfect listen for me tonight. Things are weird right now for all of us and, although I feel like we have all been taught that the busier you are, the happier you are, right now is a good time to just slow down and take a breath. None of us really know what we’re doing, none of us really know what the future may hold but, that’s okay. Just breathe and, ‘ Slow Down, Rockstar’. Thank you Fallow Land for reminding me to do so.
My Favorite Track(s): “The Time”; “The Boredom”
For Fans Of: Atmospheric Rock; Indie-Pop; Cozy Nights In
Daydream-ability: 9 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid by the front door; Autumn slept upstairs on my bed
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 8 out of 10
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