Once again presenting our select highlights & standouts from this year's Week in Pop: 2017 features with our annual Year in Pop review edition; photographed by Chula Minardi.
A mid-autumn’s daydream with Vein Rays’ Paul Smirl; press photo courtesy of the artist.
It was in spring of 2016 where we discovered Vein Rays via the album I’m Going To Regret This Later & today we present an insightful listen to the new album I Love You All To Death featuring a foreword from Paul Smirl. Providing a rustic & stripped down set of songs that spill out like the overwhelming & overflowing stretch of emotions that attempt to embody fragments of facets that are surrounded life in our current times. Smirl lets the thoughts flow like a stream of consciousness social media reactionary ticker sequences of knee-jerk sentiments as they happen & as they are felt by the individual.
Paul Smirl bleeds his guts & thoughts in an album recorded by Tessa Echeverria via Williamson Magnetic Recording Company Mixed that was mastered by Landon Arkens through Blast House Studios. A raw passion rides throughout, setting the table with the overabundance of passions on the titular number “I Love You All To Death”, the thought stream stumble & fumble of “Stumbled”, the nostalgia clash with the contemporary that rages on the emotive strung “Bury This Toy Truck”, to the college record charts ready single “Red Meat / White Bread” that is one of the most incredible & odd DIY song that this reviewer has heard in a moment. Entertainment industry portraits of iconography play about the television current event anxiety waves heard on “Jon Cryer’s Stupid Face”, the brew steeped song of “High Life Blues”, Netflix content considerations of “Stranger Things”, “Heavenly” that moves past using pain as a crutch with unflinching & uncompromising anecdotes that are expressed with a sense of hyper reality that moves to close out the album’s kaleidoscopic musical conversation on the oddball heart-warmer “Some Kind of Jesus Freak”. Paul Smirl introduced the new Vein Rays album with the following exclusive prologue:.
I Love You All To Death is about friends, family, illness, the 2016 election, Trump’s travel ban, TV, the NBA, finding love, drinking Cherry Coke, and growing up. While in the past, my records haven’t taken place in a single time period, this record takes place in the present. It’s about bridging a childhood home with a current home. It’s about living in a country that’s rapidly normalizing neo-Nazism, while also having to do laundry. It’s about celebrating the people you know, knew, or forgot. It’s got a wedding, a hospital visit, long drives, frozen pizza, spaghetti, and LeBron James.
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