What is it about 90’s grunge- indie rock that is making it richly return? Could it be that these darker times are making people gravitate to moody music? I don’t know the reason, but I know that the wealth of great indie rock has grown abundantly thanks to Silent Pictures. The Bay Area band serves listeners some dark pop matter with a flare of 90’s rock melancholy in their illustrious LP Let It Begin.
Let It Begin is like a visually beautiful portrait of sadness, confusion, and loneliness. Literally, every song feels like an episode in the mind of a broken woman and man. You see through each set of eyes the desperate yearning for love (Dying For You), the eagerness to call out fakery (Twisted Smiles), and the need to overcome past, darkened occurrences (Bad Experiences). Hence, lyrics come out to you like a series of thoughts rushing at you till you feel like they are your own. In a way, Let It Begin reminds me of the film Being John Malkovich. You enter these persons’ world and feel their emotions and thoughts as if you were embodying them which, for those looking for rich, music experiences, will be fascinated at this very mental trip into music.
There are definitely moments of psychedelia pulsing through this album. The chords and choruses are built like a dazed, REM dream that occurs after a wildly, bad night. You feel like, you are awakening from a drunken stupor, and all that rushed to your head are fragmented memories and pit of clashing sentiments. There is a natural, dragged calm that singer Rene Love uses as she lulls her lyrics like, she is overcoming an inner demon. I, personally, have fallen in love with Rene Love’s vocals because she sounds like she belongs in the 90’s. She has that Fionna Apple, Garbage-esque voice that carries a twinge of mischief as if she were a good woman fighting not become a bad one. The smokiness of her voice is a perfect contrast for Alexander Mann’s lighter, wispier vocals.
While Love sounds like she is mending a broken heart, Mann sounds like he is mending a broken bridge. Thus, while Love sings as if she were trying to heal herself, Mann sings as if her were trying to heal another. This furthers the psychedelic, mindful experience of Let It Begin as, again, you feel you are working through someone’s else brain to discover their interactions with both their self and their loves ones. Christina Stanley (Vocals, Keys, violin) Jafar Green (Bass), and Dave Conrad (Drums) help to escalate the stunning grit this album has achieved through instrumentals that play s like a heavy touch. Throughout each track, the bass and drum feel like a loaded fist punching through them to make sure that even the lightest lyric still carries a downside. Hence. the instrumentals work as an odd reflection of how even at a human being’s highest or most joyous moment, there is always a felt anxiety waiting , which can be heard in “Heaven Sent”.
Dying For You: Rene Love’s voice is so sultry and desperate as she painful repeats. “I’m just dying for you”. She vocally captivates listeners and captures the intoxicating pull of lust.
Heaven Sent: Two Things: Alexander Mann’s rasp, raw vocals and Jafar Green’s bass make this song feel like Heaven is hardest, most wonderful place to both go and receive from.
Dear John: This song is one of the lighter, most playful tracks of the LP in sound and theme. Love sings to John as if she is writing him letters proudly proclaiming how she has moved on, while the listeners ask, “Have you?”.
Let It Begin by Silent Pictures comes out July 15: Click Here to Buy It.