Self-released 7 March 2017
I appreciate nothing more than Sunday morning dedicated to sleep, making toast and listening to music. It has to be said Life on Maps injects a little more adventure into these forms of relaxation to newly invented levels of weirdness that captivates the senses still caught in a daydream that has oneself mistaking bluebirds for masterful clockwork.
I’ve never been a massive fan of folk, indie or acoustic music, much preferring the visceral, guttural impulses that charge through the brain like a military marching in the sludge. But what Life in Maps (a project fronted by Zach Briefer based in Oakland) has managed to pull off is redesign the template of how acoustic guitars and electronics can blend together in a comfortable snug of heart and soul, smoking cigarettes together in a bed that was specifically built for them.
The song Outta Dodge is a folk-rock inspired piece of art that dips and dives into an array of beautiful genres cutting new shapes in old sheets of music.
At one point of the song, the tempo changes, the pace quickens, the light flashes; before slowing down again and being stripped to the basic tools of musical communication, the minimal voice singing a lullaby about the “richness of your name”, a splendid way to control the waves that could each crash upon and crush the body, but instead, provide life and spirit in waves that one can ride with ease and challenging embrace.
Summertime Bee is also a top tune, delicate and raw, oddly dark dancing with hums and hisses of electronic malfunctions, sparse in the stars. Kira’s Coming Soon adds a highly entertaining show of strength with every rusted turn of the wheel and is a very pleasing number that features theatrical, crooked, crippled instruments that waltz along creating a fun, storytelling, campfire strong song where the hillbilly whiskey is medicine nurturing the soul to good health.
However, personal favourite is Life in Maps. It adds a mystical, magical state of mind to an already supernatural collision of colours, radiating with all kinds of compositions that feels cinematic with every random pulse of sound, every jagged spike of something else, every spooky stab of psychedelic goodness that pirouettes as though vintage satellites are ascending further into the clear half of the sky.
These are well constructed songs, bass snaking with melodies adding grooves to old trees, warm entanglements of guitar licks that lace the upholstery together in a neat symbiosis of lover and leather. It’s dynamic, pulling the pieces in different directions upon turning every corner.
Artist: Life in Maps
Label: Self release
Life in Maps redesigns the template of how acoustic guitars and electronics can blend together in a comfortable snug of heart and soul, smoking cigarettes together in a bed that was specifically built for them.