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quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It Music Album Reviews

quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It Music Album Reviews
The fantastic album from the Portland-based artist Graham Jonson turns beat music and bedroom pop into a complex psychedelic world with vast emotional horizons. His songs are lush and boundless. 

Three years ago, a teenager named Graham Jonson released a standout beat tape under the pseudonym quickly, quickly. Though it superficially resembled the loop-by-numbers tunes that had become de rigueur background music for hard-working high schoolers, the music on the tape was ever-changing, new instruments and melodies appearing spontaneously like the colors in a changing sky. Indebted to Dilla, the Pharcyde, and the phantom loops of Burial, Jonson’s work had all the hallmarks of sample-based music, with two exceptions. He didn’t content himself with a novel break or a pretty melody, but stacked ideas and details until each of the tracks included felt like a world unto itself. And there were no instrumental samples; he made it all himself.

It’s cause for optimism that the tape, which could have easily been lost online, not only won the young dude an audience, but also inspired him to work harder, extending the boundaries of his sound. On his debut album, The Long and Short of It, Jonson, now 21, reconciles his approach to beat music with a form of bedroom pop, using two genres known for their modular simplicity to create complex psychedelic music with vast emotional horizons.

The comfort produced by even the most rudimentary beat music is a feature of the genre: a steady rhythm and a pleasant loop make for a safe and cozy listening experience. The best producers tend not let any particular pattern breathe for too long, but the crush of tracks broadcast on lo-fi channels can feel as if they’re running in place. Bedroom pop, at its least imaginative, can be similarly static, guitar chords and banal lyrics taking the place of beats’n’loops. Jonson has little tolerance for any of this.

It would be wrong to refer to his music, which is steady and self-possessed, as restless. Rather, listening to The Long and Short of It is like getting to see firsthand the electrification of billions of neurons in the mind of your quietest friend, an astonishing intensity of motion and ideas swirling under a uniform surface. “Shee” is a good introduction to the album, and reintroduction for Jonson’s singing voice. (In his early teens, when he came up with the name quickly, quickly, Jonson was in a pop-punk band, and you can hear the ghosts of frontmen past in his flat, unselfconscious baritone.) The song opens with an evocative lyric—“She takes the bus at night to ease her worries”—then brings vocal harmonies to the fore, breathes deeply at the two-minute mark, and with a little more than a minute to go, launches into an ecstatic solo that takes a right turn into a final verse and disappears like a tendril of cloudstuff.

Though Jonson affects something resembling a positive attitude on the album’s early tracks—all but begging a partner to “Come Visit Me” on the second track, he commits to personal growth while she’s away—the mood darkens in the latter half, informed by his vocal tone and spare lyricism. Another standout, “Wy,” is an anthem for hypochondriacs, on which Jonson takes stock of his various ailments: heavy neck, aching back, spots in his eyes. He wishes them all away on a stormy and ambiguous chorus, and as the song’s insistent thwacking beat subsides in its final minute, there’s a sense of the dubious relief that Jonson may have in mind.

The album ends quietly, with the Felbm-like instrumental, “Otto’s Dance.” But a quick resequencing of the album offers a firmer resolution: Try closing with the opener, “Phases,” which features an impromptu backing band, giving us a sense of Jonson’s ability to lead an ensemble. The poet Sharrif Simmons utters the words, “It comes in circles” and a lovely storm of an instrumental that prominently features a saxophone solo by Hailey Niswanger, which may be the reason this album scans to some as jazz or jazzy.

That, or the fact that we simply don’t expect the genres in which Jonson is rooted to yield sound so rich, so filled with astonishing detail. He admitted to Flaunt Magazine a couple of weeks back that he had been trying to shed “my previous ‘Lo-Fi Beats To Study To’ reputation, as I think I have a lot more to offer as a musician.” But on The Long and Short of It, Jonson doesn’t abandon the sound that made him stand out back in 2018. Instead, he shows that the same workmanship and care can elevate a song about a relationship, and that a song about a relationship can feel as cosmic, as infinite, as an instrumental. Jonson doesn’t use this album to shed his reputation or reinvent himself. To use a favorite expression of the thousands of SoundCloud producers who should be taking furious notes: He builds.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It Music Album Reviews quickly, quickly - The Long and Short of It Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, September 01, 2021 Rating: 5

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