Ways to Forget – Clock Opera (2012)

Clock Opera

Album artwork for Ways to Forget

The indie scene in today’s music industry is as strong as ever.  What originally began in the 1980s with the rejection of mainstream synthpop tendencies in favor of much rawer, grunge-influenced sound has metamorphosed into a unbelievably diverse collection of bearded, flannel-clad modern musicians.  Of course, that’s a very simple way of describing it, but you get the idea.  The point is that the concept of the highly independent artist who has total control of the creative side of their music.  So now let’s dial our focus in quite a bit and shine the spotlight on a particular group from Great Britain named Clock Opera.

Although the band was first formed in 2009, they did not release their debut album, Ways to Forget, until 2012.  Some would say that three years is a long time to prepare an album, but I would argue that there is no standard duration for such a feat.  The one thing that can be said for certain is that the prolonged wait for the group’s debut was definitely worth it.  After listening to the record many times and letting it sink in, its true potential shines through.  Just as a fine wine matures with age, so too does Ways to Forget reap the benefits of its delayed release date.

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To End the Illusion of Separation – Papadosio (2012)

Album artwork for To End the Illusion of Separation

Album artwork for To End the Illusion of Separation

The concept of the psychedelically-charged jam band has been around since the 1960s.  Groups like the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd kicked off a revolution that would soon become a major chunk of America’s musical history.  Since those times, there has always been a strong-minded, passionate group of musicians and music lovers that have kept the genre alive and allowed it to evolve into something new.  Today, a movement of new musicians has been combining the jam band mentality with modern technology to create a style of music dubbed “jamtronica,” or “livetronica.”  Papadosio, a band formed in Athens, Ohio in 2006, has been on the forefront of this movement for several years now.  They approach the genre with a strong songwriting background, which they use to incorporate melodic vocal harmonies and heartfelt messages about the unity of mankind.  Last Tuesday, the band released a double disc album, To End the Illusion of Separation (T.E.T.I.O.S.), featuring 20 tracks of new material.  Spanning the course of two full hours, the album is their most diverse effort yet, and it takes the listener on a whirling journey of transcendent emotion, spirituality, and euphoric release.

One of the simplest ways to describe T.E.T.I.O.S. would be to consider it as a complete musical experience.  In other words, it’s a full, two-hour experience that travels through an eclectic collection of uniquely-orchestrated soundscapes, arranged in a manner that allows for a natural progression from beginning to end.  In many ways, it is comparable to a feature-length film.  Many, many words could be used to describe the true emotion that Papadosio’s music evokes, yet its true nature lies in the listener’s personal experience.  It is musical therapy at its finest; all of your real-world problems seem to fade away as the band’s creative voice resounds through your entire consciousness.

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