The world is an extremely (in all definitions of the word) noisy place. The people, the phones, the sirens, the technology…sometimes you can barely hear yourself think. It’s difficult to find a time and/or place with enough quiet to truly sit and focus. The music at times can be the loudest distraction of all. That is unless you find the appropriate tunes that actually manage to hone your attention in and actually listen to the message. Now, I know this analogy may some counterintuitive in nature; loud or intense music would typically be the norm for aggressively grabbing the listener’s full consideration, yet sometimes I’ve found I can almost tune what’s attempting to be conveyed out and simply focus on the adrenaline drive induced my such extreme genres. Whereas on the flipside it has been the more mellow that has garnered all of my applicable senses. Thus is the case with Trade Wind’s upcoming effort, The Day We Got What We Deserved. Admittedly, the title in and of itself was enough to stir up great curiosity which then led to multiple assumptions as to what that could infer. Was this album title trying to state that the set of songs it contained are a prediction of the end of days (judgement day as some would call it)? Could it have to do with some sort of legal matter(s) in some regard? Is it about love lost and failed???? WHAT???? Obviously that title could be synonymous with a never-ending list of subject matter, and luckily the email I received which held the demo copy also came with a little insider’s info. To quote something vocalist Jesse Barnett (who is also of Stick To Your Guns fame) had said in the piece, “I realized that a lot of these songs. Whether they’re personal or more political, are about the idea that sometimes we need to accept an obvious truth and make a change. Maybe the simplest thing is true, and we don’t need to overcomplicate it.” Now some of you may be reading this, and still slightly scratching your head, yet the definition lies within an expansive landscape; sometimes what seems right, isn’t and the only way to progress is to make a change. This seems so obvious, and yet most of us never ponder such a concept. The Day We Got What We Deserved is a collection of songs that almost screams this fact, all over music that is anything but loud or fierce. Instead, the overall vibe of the music is a much more somber and ethereal sound, which in fact helps the listener to digest what is sung easily, then pontificate what it could mean for their own lives.
Genre: Alternative | Indie
Label: Other People Records
FLOW / LONGEVITY / ORIGINALITY
From front to back, The Day We Got What We Deserved oozes with mellowed out charm and at times, spacey elements that could almost be akin to the music an insomniac might play to help ease them into a peaceful slumber. While each song transitions almost seamlessly into the next, if for no other reason than consistency in sound, at times the overall style the band went for is a bit sluggish in pace making for those ‘snap out of it’ type moments one might have if they were nodding off when not intending to. This for me upset the flow of the album in its entirety. This isn’t to say that some songs did not harness my full attention whether due to a simple fondness of its sound or because of what the message of the lyrics were, but at times the molasses-like speed of one song after the next led to my focus straying and a lack of desire to continue was the end result.
For me, this album will have the odd spin from time to time. I realize this sounds slightly hypocritical after my previous statement but when I’m in the mood for a vibey, ambient chillout sesh, then I assure you, Trade Wind will swiftly pop into my head then onto my playlist. Although aside from some stand out gems like “DIE! DIE! DIE!”, “Bishop”, and “Weather Eyes” (amongst a couple others), I don’t think I’d throw the whole album on there.
As far as originality goes, they hit the ball out of the park on that one. Although I didn’t always love the snail-like clip of some tunes, I did admire that Trade Wind sound like Trade Wind. There’s zero carbon copy in reference to almost any other band out there these days and that is astonishingly refreshing above all else.
VOCALS / INSTRUMENTATION
So, for those of you that might be unaware, the vocalist for Trade Wind also fronts Stick To Your Guns (as previously mentioned in this review). This music being a far cry from the raucous intensity of his main musical endeavors in sound alone, it finds a way to utilize such ferocity in its words. But to hear Barnett in such an earnest and smooth fashion is quite refreshing. His vocals are almost airy on “DIE! DIE! DIE!”, regardless of the severity of the lyrics and are moody yet somehow still upbeat on “Nine Tails”. Broad range is not the name of the game here though. The greatest dynamics in his chosen style of singing on this album perhaps are best displayed on “Weather Eyes”, but it’s pretty obvious that this is all on purpose. The softer tones of his crooning pair perfectly with the harmonious lullaby-like nature of the music.
The instrumentation is simplicity at its best when stripped down bit by bit. But it’s the textual layers that come from pairing your standard instruments with those a little less conventional that help to create something that in its own way is still complex and beautiful at most times. Airy, dreamy, atmospheric are all appropriate adjectives to describe what you’ll hear within the album’s walls. Airy – The lighter than a feather feeling your mind senses when listening to “Untitled III”. Dreamy – the perfect word for the vibe that “Walk Me In // Plant Me In Your Garden” sets. Atmospheric – basically all “fade On You” seems to be.
COMPOSITION / PRODUCTION
One of the aspects of this album that I actually came to appreciate the most was what it must have taken to create this album almost entirely remotely due to the pandemic. While it wasn’t my total cup of tea, and I did feel that overall, the music itself was slightly condensed in nature, I still found many intricacies that helped to retain my focus overall and that I could truly enjoy. The lyricism alone was stunning and paired with the right song was definitely something fantastic. And the production followed suit with the latter. For the aforementioned airy and dreamy vibes of the songs, the production value harnessed exactly what it would seem the band was going for.
While this album wasn’t all I had personally hoped it to be, I did find many admirable attributes. In a time and world that truly is so noisy, this album came as an unexpected retreat at times. I found myself spacing out at times in a way that I felt totally and utterly relaxed, which in turn helped me to focus on tasks or topics that were in much need of my attention. Other times I simply spaced out due to the music putting me in a trance like state. But I know some will find true value in both the music and its words. There is something special here for some, and the ones that find that certain something will absolutely be blown away. For others like myself, there will be the song or two you turn to when chilling on your dock at the cottage during the most perfect sunset and much like its rays on the water, you will reflect.