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
There is something about a beautiful song that makes it beautiful, obviously – but what is it? Is it how it captivates you to the point where you are unable to focus on anything but the sweet sound filling the space between your ears? Or maybe it’s the pattern of foot prints that your mind makes, walking in circles trying to wrap itself around how everyday words, woven together by the simple keys of a piano and gentle strings of an orchestra can, with repetition, relieve your body of an invisible weight that you know you’ve been carrying but were never really sure why? Perhaps it is the tidal wave, you know that tidal wave that takes you down and washes you clean of the creeping feelings that have been lingering above your head like three floating question marks; setting you free and pushing you forward.
Rachael Yamagata may best be known to the masses for her hit Be Be Your Love which was featured on the Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants soundtrack in 2005. Like most artists with actual talent who find mainstream popularity, it is very often not their best work that garners attention, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how protective you are of beautiful things). Yamagata’s most recent release, Elephants…Teeth Sinking into Heart, is a 2 disc set with Elephants offering up a weighted, darker expression of emotion while Teeth Sinking into Heart allows Yamagata to release herself from the chains of life’s vulnerability and gives her the opportunity to tighten her vocal chords and grit her teeth, with a more aggressive delivery of expression. However, despite the differences between the two halves of Yamagata’s final product, they compliment each other beautifully and either would be incomplete without the other accompanying it.
So, do you remember that beautiful song that we were talking about? The one that stops you in your tracks, sends your mind spinning and knocks you over? Now, you may think that we’ve fallen in love with this song because of our mildly inappropriate obsession with all things having to do with animals (we refer to ourselves as The Wolf and The Sheep, must we explain further?) but we can assure you that if only for this instance in the history of instances, the relationship between title of this song and our love for wildlife is a total coincidence – we would have felt the same if the song was called Feta Cheese Omelet, Yum – but it is not. Elephants, the opening track to, um, Elephants is that beautiful song that we were talking about. It seems as if the only way to offer this song to new ears would be to simply suggest that you open a separate tab, find the lyrics and read along. What is most phenomenal about this song to us are the lyrics (c’mon don’t act like you didn’t know) – Yamagata relates human behavior to animal characteristics while divulging the listener in a perfect depiction of the vulnerability of the human heart in the reflection of what went wrong and the struggle to move on when what it is you are trying to forget will not allow you to. What finds its way into the finale of the song, however, is a sugges- no, more like encouragement to be fearless, and while there is always the 50% chance that you will find yourself “ripped to shreds and laughing as you bleed,” once in a while the flip side of the coin may just be in your favor. Never miss the opportunity to dive head first into love but always remember to keep “one eye open at night.”
Have a listen and let us know what you think, actually, have a couple of listens and then let us know how it makes you feel.
And I am dreaming of them with their kill, tearing it all apart
Blood dripping from their lips and teeth sinking into heart
And how dare that you say you’ll call
When you know I need some peace of mind
If you have to take sides with the animals
Won’t you do it with one who is kind
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