By: Lance Turner
Slow And Steady | website | facebook | bandcamp |
Emo kids rejoice as your long awaited saviour has arrived. No, I do not refer to the cliché scene boys and girls that frequent the establishment of fans propagated by modern media. In Time We Belong is a truly heartfelt and honest spilling out of loss, anguish, regret, and longing. It is best suited for those who are acutely and tragically aware of their own emotional currency. Normally I do not cite similarities to other bands. However, this is clearly for fans of Balance & Composure, La Dispute, and Pianos Become The Teeth.
I have been listening to the emotive stylings of Jacob Lawter since his prior endeavour of the band known as Transient, which could be most easily identified as melodic hardcore. The likes of which was shared by Dreambound (formerly known as faithhopelove promotions), which I am assuming a good portion of you are familiar with. Slow And Steady is a considerably toned down effort and, as sourced from their Bandcamp, “Catchy Bummer Jams” is a perfect description. The melodies are unpretentious and the vocals are worthy of sing-a-long status.
Different music takes me to certain places. Some based solely on where the arrangement goes. But in the case of Jacob Lawter’s rhapsody, I am instantly dispatched to a place of feeling everything with intensity and only being able to see through lenses forever shaded in the deepest of blues. I’ve had to at times put this release away for a bit so as not to deliberately place myself into a lower state. Lawter exhibits an authority of verbally delivering what his soul is enduring. There is a beautiful desperation and torture in his voice that I would equate to early Billy Corgan. And as if I hadn’t stated this already, allow me to expound further. Lawter is a superb lyricist on par with Dustin Kensrue, Roger Waters, and John Mayer (yeah, I said it). He has an intrinsic ability to explicitly express what the human heart can experience.
Here I leave you with quotes from each track which should reflect the profundity of Lawter’s words, or at least those which I find personally moving. You will not find any worldly truths eliciting a cathartic awakening. But there are slivers…..
- Watching Life Go By – “Maybe a few beers, thought I could drown you out.”
- 35mm – “Where are you now that I’m alone in my room, screaming out loud; begging for some hint of the truth?”, “Dresser drawers full of photographs, and all those times I used to try to make you laugh. While you were staring at your phone, making sure your bed stayed full every night when you turn out the light.”
- Horizon – “I thought by now I’d be close to figuring out a healthy dose of reality without insanity.”
- Out of touch – “Way back before we got into this mess, were you lonely or bored?”, “Pick up the phone and make the call, before I make up my mind that you’ve never been there at all.”
- Disinterested – “I’m not interested in exposing myself just so I can be dismissed. I’m so tired of playing the fool. Seems like everyone knows but me”
- I’ve Never Left You – “I can’t see past the past enough to grasp the moment. You never leave my mind even though you’re always leaving.”
- The Kind Of Warmth That Freezes You To Death – “In like a breeze and out like always. You blew in and out of my life.”, “You can’t hold on to everyone. Keep us all inside your pocket. Take one out when you’re lonesome, to see which best matches your dress.”
- Pendulum – “If my legs kick just to tread water. Is it worth the energy?”, “Have we lost sight of the forest from the safety of the treetops? In time, will we find ourselves? In time, will we belong?”
- From This Side Of Time Of Time – “I’ve always felt alone even in good company.”, “You’ve been gone so long but I can still feel you there. Occupying space with your absence everywhere. I blamed you as if it were something that you took. You may have lit the match but I gave you the book.”
- Lost At Sea – “It’s easier for me to believe you’re lost at sea than to believe you’re there, not listening to me.” Oh, just listen to the damn song. This entire track is just one big quote.
This is not just another run of the mill release by some forlorn dude in his 20’s. You will find moments of two part self-harmony, organ, horns, barely apparent piano, and strings that weave throughout in a manner that would reflect a much more accomplished musician. Scratch that as I should have said songwriter. Jacob Lawter yields compositions that sound like they were fabricated by a soul much more battered by life and its redundancy. In Time We Belong is a simply arranged album. But therein lies the appeal as it is not so busy as to draw you away from the experience of the music in its most innocent form. Probably one of the most emotionally stressful albums I have heard in a very long time. Although, I do not believe it is an invitation to share in despair. More of a healthy release of reflections that have been bound up within for far too long. I would also speculate that recording In Time We Belong was likely a healing process of just letting go.
I am exceedingly aware that I have preached long enough. So at the risk of sounding like a blithering idiot, I beseech you to listen to Slow And Steady’s first release In Time We Belong. Plain and simple, I am deeply affected by this album. It is pure in conviction, effusive in presentation, transparent in sentiment, and effective in delivery. As sure as the sky is blue, In Time We Belong will be included in many Album Of The Year lists. Do not miss out!!!