D é N O U E M E N T S

Interview: A Blissful Dose of Sad Souls

INSPIRATION. One thing that Tom Auty does not lack of is inspiration. Spanning four mini-releases this year, it is only due that I offer my last interview of 2011 to the guy who has made his music relevant to the true fans of independent music in and out of his native Ann Arbor— highlighted when Apeiron was picked up by the Japanese label Nature Bliss for a CD release in February next year and when he was featured as one of the city’s pride on Soundcloud’s Local.

Sad Souls, Auty’s moniker, is not exclusive to the forlorn. In fact, most of his songs are like musical haiku weaving every tune and mood to honor the nocturnals and the dreamers. Sifting through the stillness of the night, his acoustic, ambient efforts tiptoe on the delicate, translucent paths that rays of light diffract before hitting our eyes.

It is not that Sad Souls sounds like nobody before him or is incomparable to other members of indie rock class of 2011 especially in this genre-bending stage in music.  But it is that Sad Souls’ music captures the essence of how technology and talent come together, reaching out to people with the absence of hype and gimmickry but with a chanced discovery and revelry of that fated encounter. An encounter to a known feeling represented in beautiful harmonies and calm, in deep wallow of melancholia or independence. Much like how it was for me. And this fact ranks his music important to many, to us, who brave to hear what it feels like to be awashed in a reverie of being in a forest with leaves in our hair.

Links: Bandcamp. Souncloud. Facebbook.

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Sad Souls’ Precious Paragons (Review)

“There’s a river between us now, some state line boarders, some broken town,” with these lines on “Singing Sailors,” Sad Souls’ Precious Paragons demand the listeners’ a sprawled-on-the-bed listening time.

Having no online presence except from his Bandcamp page, Sad Souls float around, brewing under our noses without us even noticing it. His is acoustic, lo-fi folk music that strongly reminds of Kings of Convenience and strangely of earlier Peter Coyle especially in its songwriting. The above-mentioned together with “Needle of Death,” “Bull Men”  are the three tracks having vocals in it while the rest four are instrumentals varying in its composition. The acoustic-driven tracks are filled with reverberating vocals and organic acoustic sounds, with words riding on rich melodies and Sad Souls’ relaxed voice that warp well in harmonies. Playful in “Bull Men,” you need the sharpest ear to lace it with a former track while “Hypnagogic Image” sounding like an underwater trance party does not fit with the bunch, it breaks the transcendence the opener provides distracting the listener from delving deeper into the record’s inner intention of reflective, resonant melodies and thoughts.

As a surprise, the record offers an acoustic, wordless rendition of famed Nico song ‘These Days,” perfect in execution but not enough to suffice the excitement it has fired up in its first few droned licks. Upon hearing the first notes, you are doomed to yearn for the words “I’ve been out walking,” but it doesn’t come. That is how Sad Souls work in this record, he gives out just enough to allow the thoughts and the longing come in, then he tasks you to do the personal searching.

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