Ransom Scenery released their latest project “Ear to Ear”, February of this year. The Illinois based duo produced the entire album. The band consists of Chaepter Negro and Drew Lowery. Playing a vast array of instruments they incorporate vocals, cello, mandolin, percussion, and drums. An experimental group, one can hear influences of Tame Impala, Deerhunter, and Steve Reich. They maintain a strong rhythmic and melodic structure giving depth to their sound. Interesting electronic components make for an evoking and at times intellectual listen.
This is the music reminiscent of “Donnie Darko”, dark and inscrutable, lonely and vast. It’s scary and eerie, trippy and cosmic. For the setting it evokes, this is the music of television and movie scenes – driving through dark roads on Mulholland Drive, walking in the Forrest at midnight, speeding down a highway with no headlights, detectives raiding a crime scene. The list goes on. Influences of hip hop, thrash, soul, electronica, EDM, and indie rock can be heard. Though it’s experimental it’s just great, catchy music.
Their music video for “Slowly Spinning” the first track on the album is for the most part a fitting and complimentary visual counterpoint to their song. Effervescent colors from nature, rural landscapes, clouds, and abandoned roads make up the majority of the video. The editing leads to compelling angles and shots, it’s in line with their overall musical aesthetic. The lonely car driving at a glance on a rural road also enhances the eerie and desolate atmosphere their music creates. If there had been no shots of the masked and unmasked boys, they wouldn’t have been missed. These shots don’t enhance the overall video at all.
My favorite songs on the album are “Driplove”, “Just Tour”, “Unconditional”, and “Pop Scripture”. However, I did enjoy every song included on the LP. They tell a story with each track, left to the listener to interpret. One can get lost in the haze amidst the sonic sounds and cosmic atmosphere. It’s music for parties after midnight, for the loners and lovers sitting on couches, drinking bud lights and Jack, smoking bud and getting high, awakening the senses to feel alive.
The bio for Ransom Scenery says the band commenced via email. It’s amazing to witness the evolution of music, to know that artists can transfer music files to one another and be able to create a cohesive and interesting sound without necessarily being in the same place, the same city, the same continent. Limitless possibilities for those creative people with even just the minimal amount of home equipment. Bravo to Ransom Scenery. In their case the DIY and self made approach, sound, and overall aesthetic truly works for their music and artistry.
You can listen to the experimental album on their Bandcamp and Soundcloud page. Their Facebook and Twitter pages also are great place to keep up to date.