Hailing from the great state of Oklahoma, Other Lives began their musical journey some time around 2004 and have been successfully pushing forward ever since. The band’s most recent album, the self titled Other Lives EP was released in March of 2009 on TBD Records. With the ability to master a variety of instruments being a main component of their band, their sound is composed of perfect little layers of piano, guitar, bass, organ, cello, drums violin and guitar that blend so beautifully into one melodic life boat, placed perfectly within reach for Jesse Tabish’s vocals to find solace and be carried safely through the currents of our mind. The eleven songs that make up Other Lives’ Self Titled EP are powerful enough to skip the judgment of the mind completely and nestle instantly within your soul. Lyrically, Other Lives avoids in-depth and wordy stanzas but instead opt for a straightforward and uncomplicated deliverance of emotions that have the ability to sting almost as quickly and easily as they eventually soothe. Failed relationships and unrequited love do not seem to be as big of a theme on this album, instead, we are placed on a path towards coping. It is as if Other Lives’ Self Titled EP is one of those albums that can take on its own personal meaning as it nestles its way into the lap of your emotions and eventually finds itself lost within them. So, coping with what exactly, I am not necessarily sure and believe it is up to the listener to eventually figure out. Whatever gap that lies wide open that calls for patching up, whatever haunting voice within the mind that needs quieting down, whatever apathetic albatross that demands to be replaced with something of substance – must open itself up wide enough to allow Tabish’s life boat room enough to slowly drop its anchor and find a home.
Like many albums that I eventually fall in love with, Other Lives has been sitting, silently and patiently, knowing that I would eventually give it a chance when the time was right. I can not imagine another time to have been better than the present. I highly recommend Other Lives, especially if you are looking for something to fill your heart, not necessarily your mind. This album does not call for thought, it seems as if it does the complete opposite and begs, quietly yet persuasively, to be felt. To embrace this album completely, I believe, requires time, patience and above all, a deep breath. Close your eyes, you owe it to yourself – or better yet, ‘shut out the sound, perfect silence is all around, away from the crowd, a chance to figure out what they’re about.’
Other Lives is Jesse Tabish, Josh Onstott, Jenny Hsu, Colby Owens and Jonathon Mooney.
And I had called a name but no one heard
Sounds just like the noise of people talking words
I’d love to say a prayer
For all those that flew and all who wish to
When the whites of your eyes come through
You’ll see something new
With your body and mine raised up
It’s good to see you back home
What do the singers of Bon Iver and The Antlers have in common?
That low, scratchy growl of a voice, of course!
One day, while the wolf and the sheep were hard at work discussing the best albums of 2009, the obvious choice for #1 was Brand New’s Daisy. Brand New is our ULTIMATE band. We could probably share some crazy stories about things we’ve done for this band, but maybe another day. It’s pretty much Brand New over everything else in life for us. At least, that is how it is on most days. Not on this day though, because the wolf said to the sheep, “I hate to break it to you, but my favourite album of the year was by The Antlers.” Jaws dropped and so did the (chat)room temperature. The sheep was enraged. The wolf was scared with its claws ready to defend as the sheep wanted to pounce.
Clearly, 2009 tested our musical tastes and dedication to our favourite band. Even thought my love for Brand New will float on and on, I find that I am less.. well, obsessive, about them due to the new sphere of music that I have opened myself up to. Upon hearing His Old Branches a 2009 EP released by what can be considered our breath of fresh air band – The Republic of Wolves (You’ve got to hear this band!), the sheep exclaim— I mean, bah-ed loudly, : “I AM SO OVER BRAND NEW RIGHT NOW”. The point is, there comes a time for every music lover when you begin to explore the world of music beyond your safety point (ie Brand New, which held me over for years). You begin to explore new music and sounds and the feelings these new artists invoke. 2009 marked this for me. I’m not sure if it is because I moved away to university and became more independent in life overall (a milestone, really) and therefore was more brave to try new things, or simply because the same old tunes weren’t cutting it for me. Either way, my life has been blessed with new sounds to enjoy, and I will be grateful for this beyond the day when my children pick up the same CDs I bought this year and fall in love with them the same way I did.
Among these CDs, there will be a copy of Hospice. This was an album that I had to get used to with every listen. Thankfully, each listen did not feel like a chore (such as trying to like the new Taking Back Sunday albums back in the day…..). I was trying something new, now forcing myself to like something I was already dedicated to. I was intrigued by the new art. The thing that interested me the most about Hospice is that it is a concept album and tells a story chronologically with each song. I was introduced to the song Two in a mixtape I received from a certain big-toothed individual who runs this blog. There were 17 songs on that mixtape and this was the only one I listened to for days (sorry wolf). I hate to say this, but it was beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! So much beauty in 6 minutes that it could make you cry. I had a hard time getting into the rest of the album because the bar was set so high due to my repetitive listens of Two (iTunes play count: 62)
As for me, I am beyond excited to see The Antlers this February as they make a stop in Toronto with The Editors (The Editors on Myspace). As for the Wolf, she has been lucky enough to see them already, and could only describe it as the most beautiful show she’d ever been to. Now, please note that, even though we use the world “beautiful” a LOT on this blog, does not mean that we use it lightly. We use it because it is the perfect word, and we mean it every time.
I can wrap up all this personal junk with saying that The Antlers have been a big deal for me because they are a new sound for me. They have been a band that allowed me to expand and test my boundaries of what i allow my ears to hear. In my life, that is a pretty big deal.
Um. Hello. Hey. Hi. Zdra-wait, how does one actually greet in a blog post? I wish I knew. It is only the second day of 2010 and it is already shaping up to be another sleepless year – some things last a long time, you know. Before I actually do what the receptors in my brain have sent me here to do, I would first like to send out an SOS to anyone reading this fabulous blog of ours because that is way more important. Ahem. On behalf of the toothless wolf and the wooly sheep, we wish you – from the bottom of the beating organs that keep our blood moving – a happy, healthy, magical and glorious 2010 full of people, places, things, music, words and feelings (new and old) that have the power elevate you towards that beautiful level of infinity. May you never have to run on empty and may more drinks always be on the way!
Happy New Year!
Stumbling upon Erik G. Neave, former member a band called Amalgam and the mastermind behind the music of Cedarwell, was an accident. Oh, how we love accidents sometimes. Cedarwell hails from the great land of Wisconsin, home of really cool cheese-head hats and the four walls that produced For Emma, Forever Ago. A couple of reviewers seem to think that Neave and Justin Vernon have more than Wisconsin in common but I, for one, do not hear it. While Vernon will forever own his signature howling, sound exits Neave’s mouth like a beating drum, pushing words forward and consciously placing each syllable where it belongs in order to lie perfectly with the music. Cedarwell’s Gamboge has been on repeat for the last couple of days, while I patiently wait for the latest release Smoky Mountain Bear to fall out of the sky and into my mout-I mean, hands.
Look through your day planner and pencil in 46:08 under the name Gamboge and take it out – get some coffee and go for a nice walk (the cold air will do you good) – then, let us know if you feel the butterflies.
Cedarwell is generous too, which is nice. There are a crap load of “free songs” on the official website (which may depend on your definition of free – take it for what it is). Just make sure you don’t sit around waiting for something to fall out of the sky, that only happens in my dreams. PayPal delivers quicker anyway, so let your steps fall soft and $how $ome $upport!
I opened up my skin
Under Wisconsin skies
I opened it again
When all the blood went dry
I wanted just one glimpse
If I still had a heart
That moment I got through, I didn’t
It’s better that way, I think
It’s better that way, I think
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