Dear Mr Swede & Mr Brundlefly,
Thank you for sending your energy my way. The vinyl album and it's home red line above all vinyl standards. I listened to your album five or six times consecutively. I read the "Making" story of the album on the website. Yes, writing about music is hard, but you did a splendid job relaying reasons for the existence of "Pretense". Very thankful you have belief in my listening and writing skills, and the thought i could possibly be a set of fresh ears.
The music you have created is obviously an accumulation of vasts amounts of experience, skill and passion. The immense diversity of rhythms, beats, influences, playing styles, harmonic shifts..... makes this a difficult record to describe. From reading your description of how much went into this, it makes sense while listening. There are many comparisons that come to mind, these constantly change throughout each track. Interesting you mentioned the second side homage to Yes' Closer to the Edge. I kept hearing a Yes vibe on the first track Pretense. Not ever a dominant current, just hints here and there. There were moments when I thought of Wakeman's Journey to the Center of the Earth composition. Another thought that surfaced was the story of the band Rush and the creation of La Villa Strangiato. "Pretense" seems to be a an epic en devour having equivalence to the painstaking writing and tweaking behind the final song on the Hemisphere album.
Although the music styles are different, this album reminds me of the 1981 recording by Simon Jeffes and Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Simon took three years to record that album. From reading, you all took four years to complete "Pretense". As quoted by Brian Eno, "Simon had a non-allegiance to any particular music category." This is the case for your composition. Traveling from rock to jazz with horns and a big band sound, the aural landscape has been completely radiated. The question i have, is where do you go from here?
The high level of thought and devotion going into to Pretense is matched by this being a giant slab of vinyl. Can they make records any thicker? Gorgeous and radical artwork, matching the bewildering qualities within. Love the binding of this gate fold, like a book. This release will survive the decaying properties of time and astonish future listeners for years to come.
Appreciate being included with this monumental output. Thanks Jason and Matthew. This was a great exploration.
Lost In A Sea Of Sound.
Copies of "Pretense" are available from the Brundlefly & the Swede bandcamp page.
Shoddy Merchandise site
Brundlefly & the Swede - bandcamp