Hey, everybody! Mike TV here. Long time listener. First time caller. Wait…what?
Anyway, a friend of mine, Eric Lyday, is the principle songwriter for a band called Food Group, here in Austin Texas. They just put out a new album. It’s amazing. So, I wrote a little review. Here it is.
Here Today, by Food Group (a review)
written by Mike TV
Every time I listen to Here Today, the debut full-length album, by Food Group, I hear something new. This is a sonically dense, beautifully arranged collection of songs that, to my ears, evokes an emotional palette as varied and as complex as the music itself. What do I mean by that? I mean, not only is this a beautiful sounding album, but it’s got a heavy dose of the feels. Which, for me, is necessary for an album to become a favorite, and to earn its place on my shelf of “albums worth sharing with friends.”
From the opening track, a new interpretation of the old slave spiritual, Michael Row The Boat Ashore, with all of it’s yearning and intimated struggle, Here Today seems to be saying, “sit back, put your seatbelt on, and dig the ride.” And what a ride it is. For me, the best music tingles both the intellect and the heart. And Here Today is full of moments where both are electrified. The breakdown right after the second chorus in Could I Be, where lead singer, Eric Lyday, in his crystal clear tenor cries out, “Could I be wrong again?”, and then this question is met by a frantic yet gorgeous keyboard solo, a suggestion that even the music is exploring and seeking the answer to the question.
Now, I don’t want to steal any thunder from the listening experience. This album should not be experienced by reading my words. And trust me, I could very easily unpack my thoughts on every track on this album. And every track on this album is worthy of unpacking. But, my words and my interpretation of the album will suffuse itself through your interpretation, and that, in my estimation, is criminal.
So let me highlight just one of my favorite moments on the album. Because I don’t want to mess up your listening experience. But, do let me impress upon you, if you miss this record…if you don’t find a comfortable place, sit, and just listen to this album, you’re missing out on an extraordinary experience.
My favorite track keeps changing. But right now, it is Black Is Love. Although in previous listens it has been Sleepwalker, Sying, Tidal Wave, You Are, and Could I Be. I mean, this is a deep album.
So let me give you my thoughts on Black Is Love. It opens with what sounds like a grand piano. An arpeggio played in an an open room with bare concrete walls, sound bouncing to and fro. And then the vocals, they alight gently, but quickly become earnest and full of passion, as they crescendo, full of fire, crashing into the next section of the song. Just awesome. And this is just the intro. The rest of the song takes us deeper into the mad, wild, unbridled genius that is Food Group.
One of the things that I find so wonderful about this album is that there are many left turns, sudden jags, little poly-rhythmic fillips and flourishes that are constantly keeping each song fresh and exciting and thrilling.
Trying to use words to describe music is like trying to describe color to blind person. No matter how skilled the wordsmith, the author is never going to really, fully convey how gorgeous a sunset can be, or the ocean, or a night sky full of stars. So from someone who takes music very seriously, who loves it with every atom and every particle of his person, to you, let me say this… If you miss out on Here Today, by Food Group, you’re missing out on a singular and wonderful listening experience. But then again, singular and wonderful listening experiences might not be for everyone. But I hope, for your sake, that they are.