LP Review; Basement: “Beside Myself”

The Album:

After coming through the music scene with major headlining and co-headlining shows this spring, fans went crazy at the thought of new music from Basement, and after listening to this record, they hype was for good measure. This album, to put it bluntly, takes us back to the solid sound of alternative rock, which gives listeners nothing but good feelings. Diving into the music heard on the record, the band often allows the lyrical line shine over top the instrumental line; however, as they do so, the instrumentalists continually dig into their own parts, which gives the audience a thick texture to attach to. This allows the band to give their listeners a dynamic track after another dynamic track, for with the added texture, there is no way any of the selections could resonate in the same light because they are all texturally so different while being interconnected. Additionally, the band allows for moments of brief vocal isolation, which provides a major juxtaposition of sound to silence. This works well for the neighboring instrumental moments, for these moments will startle the audience members since it is so different, making these moments make each track all the more pleasing and memorable. As Basement plays with this varying texture, they give their listeners a variety of emotions and tempos to provide music that could fill a whole spectrum of musical ideas, which is hard to accomplish, but this album amplifies that technique throughout the work. Also, when looking back at previous releases from the band, there is a common pattern of enhanced instrumentals with flashy instrumental breakdowns and moments. This album does give the instrumentalists some time to shine, but the overall motive and approach to this record differs from those because the focus is put (more) on the melodic line instead of the accompaniment. This gives this album a more mature sound, which produces a relaxed aura for audience members to hook onto. Overall, I am giving this album a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I landed on this score because the album is technically strong, and the record will resonate with audience members because of its relatability and pleasing sound.


Top Tracks:

“Be Here Now”, “New Coast”, and “Slip Away”

These tracks stick out when listening to this album as a whole because each of them retain musical nuances that are characteristically Basement while also encompassing ones that are innovative and new. As these two types of techniques mesh together, these selections produce and overly ornate sound, which brings a new tone color to the album through each of these tracks. Furthermore, if you are going to check any songs out from the track list, make it these.


The Artwork:

 At first glance, the cover art for this record draws potential listeners in, for the artwork is quite captivating. The cover depicts an image of one person lying on top of a tree, starring up at the starry sky as another human is found at the bottom right of the image, resting there, starring at what appears to be a mirror where he can see his face looking at the face of the girl who is lying on top of the tree. Moving towards the music found on the album, it is heard that the both the cover art and the music found on the inside link up perfectly. This is heard through the various emotional plugs that are driven throughout the course of the record. As one listens to the album from front to back, it is heard that one can shift through a variety of (emotional) realms within one set time frame. When looking at those moments: some may be happy, others sad, and others you may just want to be someone else entirely. This is enhanced through the artwork from the cover since this image shows two separate figures displacing themselves from the hustle of the busy world, and through that seclusion they are able to long and wish and relax and just live in that moment how it is, which is exactly what is heard from the music presented on the record. Therefore, after diving into both the music and the affiliated artwork itself, it can be easily said that the two form a perfect match.

*”Beside Myself” was released on October 12, 2018 through Fueled by Ramen LLC.

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