VIDEO PLACEHOLDER INSIDE TEXT Washington State (Seattle and Olympia) have borne a band called Basement Surfers. They are a lo-fi/pop/jazz/rock/ambient commune (there are a lot of them in the band) who have just released “Human Music.”
“We are a collective of musicians and artists and friends based around the compositions and productions of siblings Carter and Mikey Prince. Talk to us, hang out with us and collaborate with us- we want to create an inviting, accepting and inclusive environment for all who need one.” – Per the band’s Facebook page.
The ten-track release is full of disjointed songs, but I think it is intentional. Their version of experimental/ambient music is interesting, but often uncomfortable. Some parts do not seem mixed well, but others are beautifully mixed. Maybe, and likely, this album needs to be enjoyed through repetition rather than upon first listen. I can see the value and satisfaction in knowing the intricacies of each songs, but you likely won’t get that level of satisfaction on the first listen due to the layers, blending of styles, and somewhat organized chaos.
The best way I can sum it up is Ed Kowalczyk , Editors, and Beck met up with Deftones while they were writing songs from Diamond Eyes #2, and Prince and Alex Lifeson were sometimes there. I know that sounds weird, but I think I’m on point here.
I found that all of the songs were a bit too long.
With the exception of “Long Ago” and a few others, the drums sound a bit tinny, and the songs leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable, again, likely intentional. Nearly every song, though, has a moment that showcases a pretty element or something tangibly normal and very enjoyable. I really liked “Long Ago,” “What a Lovely Celebration,” “Lovely Celebration,” and the sweet little song called, “Cosmo Plunder.” The song, “Beyond,” has some really beautiful parts, but the song in general seems fragmented.
The Basement Surfers have a really creative video for the final song, “Friend Vicodin.” It’s such a simple concept, but very effective. A lovely girl sits in a white dress, eating Vicodin…pill after pill throughout the entire song. So much so that her mouth can’t take any more and the little white pills tumble from her mouth, yet she continues to shove more into her mouth from her unlimited supply of the song’s namesake. There is a ghosting effect that is powerful in making you believe the drugs are starting to take hold. And the actress is quite convincing with her Amy Winehouse makeup and dramatic look of despair. The ending of the video is the best, and I for one am glad they chose to end the story the way they did (I will leave the mystery a mystery).
“The collective wishes to create an inviting, accepting and inclusive environment for all who need one and states that the music is often very personal and that they hope that the listener can reflect on the music and can find ways to connect and learn about themselves through respective introspection.” – Per the band’s site. I did not have this profound experience, but perhaps you will.
You can stream the album at:
And, as always, if you like it, BUY it.
You can watch the video for “Friend Vicodin” here:
Basement Surfers are:
Carter Prince (vocals/guitar/synths/drum machine/sampling)
Jon Dugger (guitar)
Connor Johnson (drums)
Savvas Matiatos (bass)
Addison Kotulski (french horn)
Kaylah Saltzman-Bravo (auxiliary percussion)
Alex Rovegno (analog synthesizer)
Noah Colbeck (tablas, auxiliary percussion)
Written, Recorded and Mixed by Carter Prince at Robitussin Ranch. Mastered by Telegraph Mastering