Fans of Conveyor, we have a treat for you. T.J. Masters from that Brooklyn art-rock band has released a solo project and it’s real good. The project, titled Guma, was released on May 27th and it’s definitely worth a listen. This 9 track album is a great one to listen to when you’re kicking back and hanging out. All the tracks have an over all relaxing vibe to them, without being too uniform or boring.
The first track was definitely one of our favorites. Always a sucker for songs that change things up, and “Real Feast Day” definitely complies. The instrumentals and vocals are mellow in the beginning and calm, before shifting into an upbeat, happy-go-lucky sound. This track is vaguely reminiscent of old beach tunes, and gives off positive vibes all around.
The next track, “Forever Golden Light” has the same feel some Jack Johnson tunes, “Banana Pancakes” in particular. The strum of the guitar paired with T.J.’s voice creates a soothing quality. “Diamond Love,” (the third song) on the other hand, picks up the tempo a little bit. This track is filled with syncopated rhythms and the vocals have a loose, transparent quality to them. This track plays around and mixes major and minor chords, creating a mysterious, slightly ominous sound.
“Dumb Luck” is the next song on the record. This is the longest track, at 6 minutes long, and it slows everything down. The song starts with gentle, low vocals, and it slowly gains momentum. The instrumentals pick up the pace and the over all volume swells before it settles again and the calm is restored.
The next song speeds things up again. “Great Neck” has instrumentals that create a beachy, tropical vibe and wispy, floating vocals that are guaranteed to relax you and put you in a good mood. From there, the mood shifts again as the next track, “Depression Era,” plays. This is another one of our favorites. This tune gives off a more personal feeling than the rest- the melody is calm while still telling a story at the same time.
The 7th track on the album, “You Can Get Hungry,” is another chill tune. The song is a classic simple guitar and voice pairing. The melody is filled with triplets and more syncopated rhythms that you’ll fall in love with. Things slow down again with the 8th track, “Clown Peter.” This song is completely comprised of instrumentals, and while vocal notes join in later to add to the intensity of the instruments, there are no lyrics. This is an incredibly beautiful piece, perfect for a slow dance or waltz.
The last song on this record is “To The State of my Birth Will I Ever Return,” another track that reminds me of Jack Johnson. The soft guitar plays in the background, but the vocals are the spotlight. T.J.’s voice is gentle and hypnotic, and makes the listener feel like he’s telling his own personal story.
Guma is available now.