After a three-year hiatus, Kurt Andrew of Rochester, NY, has released a new EP titled, “This is Music That I’ve Written”. This is an intricate mix of electronic, alternative and ambient with literal ambient noises coming through on the recordings. The unconventional rattling, scraping, beeping sounds used in the beat makes it evident that these are experimental recordings, exploring multiple angles of instrumentation within a small amount of songs. The improvisational style of composing Andrew uses on this album comes through in these tracks with some unusual syncopations but it doesn’t sound disorganized or uncrafted. He puts emphasis on the initial creative output as opposed to refining and rewriting the music, much like stream of conscious writing. In a self-published article about the composing of this album he writes, “The object is to ignore pre-conceived ideas, to not obsess over a specific process or method, and simply let it come as naturally as possible. There is a strength and patience in the simple act of letting go.” We don’t always get an insight into the artist’s composing process but I felt it necessary to mention this because a lot of artists struggle with perfectionism and it’s inspiring to see this successful push to break away from that and keep to raw artistic expression in its purest form. This sentiment is reflected in the chosen title for the EP as well, which seems to boldly say, “Here I am, this is me in the form of musical composition”.
The unique sequencing of every other track being an instrumental interlude with elegant, classical piano is original and intriguing. It’s a supplement that allows for moments of reflection in between the tracks saturated with vocals and remorseful lyrics that often express a yearning or longing such as, “Let’s go somewhere we’ve never been. Let’s see something we’ve never seen’’. Although, I can’t speak towards Andrew’s specific artistic intent for this back and forth I personally see a reflection of the changing between reality and a dream state, based on the contrast between the more jarring tracks with vocals and the soothing, almost mystical sound of the instrumental.
I find myself comparing Andrew’s music to Tim Burton films as opposed to other music artists, specifically with the song “Show”, because of the theatrics in the vocals and the sense of nostalgia with a spooky undertone that comes through in these songs. For example, the drum track on “I Can Make A Home Here” seemingly resembles a heartbeat and creates a sense of uneasiness that reflects the lyrics. These deep, somber vocals seem to be exhumed from the depths of an ominous underworld. The music style and lyricism are also slightly reminiscent of Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse’s joint release, “Dark Night of the Soul.” Still I can’t express enough that this is an artistic piece that stands on its own and needs to be treated as one. In spite of the instrumental play here there is still a consistent fluidity throughout and it feels like a finished composition. The audible breath at the very end of the EP is equivalent to the signature on a painted masterpiece.
Buy the album here and/or stay tuned for the release on Spotify.