Medicine Fish is Here to Remind Us: Love is all Around

Medicine Fish is Here to Remind Us: Love is all Around

Adriana SaboMonday,10 November 2014

The Snap: 

One of the most interesting things about the world of music we inhabit is just how different and well known influences can be combined to get something that is at the same time familiar and new. This kind of ambiguity followed me throughout my experience of getting to know Medicine Fish and their music. My mind was constantly making different connections to the music of the past and constantly being “disappointed” by the fact that it does not actually sound like anything from the past: so familiar, yet somehow new. Medicine Fish is a three piece band from — and I believe you are supposed to choose from these as you will — Elmont/Valley Stream/Wantagh/Everywhere that love is, says their Facebook page. And who am I to doubt Facebook. Anyway, members of the band are John Velsor (Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards) Julian ‘Lazers’ Maultsby (Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Percussion) and Ryan Griffin (Drums/ Percussion). Charlemagne Blue is the title of their latest release and it’s definitely something worth taking a closer look at.

The Download:

The labels that Medicine Fish use for their music are Folk/Jam Band/Experimental/Indie Rock. And yes, they are a blend of all these things. Since Fish Medicine is mostly a live performing band, making an album was a challenge for them. As they say: We didn’t just mic up a jam session and call it a studio album (which rarely captures the true moment without the crowd to bounce the energy back to you while you play), nor did we go 180 degrees and polish out every note (which as you may guess makes for a very sterile and lifeless end product). We tried to define that paradox lying somewhere in between.” They succeeded. Charlemagne Blue is a collection of 14 songs that all have a feeling of being played and recorded on the spot, yet at the same time, they reveal the fact that the band worked hard to getting all the details just right, which is only possible when recording in a studio.

Out of all the tags applied to their music, folk and indie rock fit best. The sound of Americana is especially strong in “Life is Beautiful,” and “California Redemption,” with a bit more country in “Barn Rag.” Most of their music is comprised out of very familiar and simple chord successions, that are made to come alive through a highly melodic voice line and inventive guitar riffs. “Barn Rag” has an especially great vibe that only a country-rock track can have. Their R’n’R roots are somewhat stronger in “Ain’t That Story” — which also bares witness to their love of experiments — or “Ocean Calling.” In each of the fourteen tracks on Charlemagne Blue, you can hear all of the band’s influences, follow the ways in which they mix, and pinpoint places where certain genres “pop out.” This makes for a truly unique experience.

The album has a great, positive vibe. It’s not boring, despite a relative large number of tracks, as it brings a lot of different emotions, rhythms and  atmospheres. It would seem that this fish is a real medicine – listen to them when you are sad, when you need something to pick you up, or when you wish to stay in a good mood.

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Hat Tips:

Bandcamp, Facebook, Image Credit: Flickr

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