Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vinyl Review: "The LowSwing Sessions" by Reema

The LowSwing Sessions
The irony of this modern world isn't lost on me.

These vinyl reviews are my ode to the past and what could be the present again. These pages are read on computers, on phones, and on tablets like they use in Star Trek.

This Christmas one of my gifts was a bluetooth speaker that will be used to create a wireless connection to my phone. This will be used in the kitchen I think when I'm cooking dinner. Getting all the metals in crystal clear sound with some lovely low end should be just wonderful.

But, here I sit in the upstairs sitting room, with a CRT TV, video games from 20 plus years ago, listening to Reema's latest release on a turntable older than me, a stereo older than my daughter, and speakers, of an indeterminate age.

In one part of my home, there's technology. The Roku Box, the HD Television, the blu-ray player, and a modern day 5.1 home theater stereo.

In the sitting room, as my family calls it or the music room as my mother in law calls it, I'm creating a simplicity.

You'll have seen parts of it in my videos. There's the 60 plus year old vinyl case, the antique tables, the faux antique roll top desk.

I'm trying to recreate a time I didn't live through sprinkled with things I did live through.

It's all ever so fitting to listen to Reema in this setting. Her music harkens back to a different time.

On this record, you won't find any distorted guitars, or even any drums. It's clear and simple. Flowing arpeggios augment her voice. She has that Jewel-style "twang." There's got to be a better way to describe her voice, but frankly I don't know what it is.

Her electric guitar played as though she were an early 60's folk singer sounds glorious on the wax grooves. It might sound like there's nothing else happening in the tracks, but that's untrue.

There are small pieces that weave in and out of her songs. There's interplay with her guitar from strings, keys, woodwinds, and probably more that I've yet to discover.

With a few colors, she paints a lavish picture in which to get lost in for days. That's the challenge of folkies or neofolkies. How do you make music that's captivating without complex arrangements. Reema has excelled. Her songs are beautiful.

For lack of any better term, she's a singer/songwriter. That's not really a label I like to use very much, because doesn't that describe every vocalist who sings their own songs? But, it is a term that people know and it calls up a picture.

She tells of tales, sings of loves lost, and introspection.

The LowSwing Sessions was recorded wholly in analog. That's why this record sounds so fantastic. It is true that even albums missing the analog chain will sound better on the platter than in the iPhone, but there's nothing that compares to full, lush sound of pure analog.

Release: 12/08/18
Genre: Neofolk
Label: LowSwing Records

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