31 August 2013

Your Friend - "Jekyll/Hyde"

The time has finally come. It's been about a year since Taryn Blake Miller debuted her project Your Friend to the Lawrence scene to impeccable acclaim. Many Lawrencians have been patiently waiting  for her debut record Jekyll/Hyde to come out for what feels like forever. And after listening to it a number of times in the first few hours I bought it, I can definitely say it was above and beyond worth the wait.

Jekyll/Hyde starts off with what is probably my favorite track on the whole album, the impeccably beautiful and loud "Bangs". After a minute of Taryn's beautiful voice behind some almost twinkling guitars, the drums kick in and then the track just gets epic. The near minute and a half long breakdown at the end is just incredible. The distorted panned bass, the delayed and and beautiful guitars, and the incredibly well produced drums matched up with Taryn's voice is just impeccable. Next is "Peach", a beautiful track that takes an incredibly well done electronic edge towards the end. Tons of pretty synthesizers, little offbeat noises, and some pretty awesome drum machines bring an already very emotional track some extra emotion. "Pallet" is actually the first Your Friend song I ever heard, and when I first heard it, it was incredibly heavy reverbed soaked ballad. In this recorded version, the heavy washed out reverb that was heard in Taryn's earlier live performances is swapped out with incredibly lovely and lush synthesizer strings that are just absolutely incredible. The production treatment this track gets just sounds amazing with all the synths placed just perfectly on top of each other. "Tame One" is a mind blowing mix of Taryn's incredible indie rock style and an amazing post rock breakdown, very similar to the opener "Bangs". The title track "Jekyll/Hyde" is just beautiful. There's no other word for it. It's just as incredible as it was the first time I heard it back when it was a demo on Taryn's bandcamp. All the extra instrumentation and background vocals are an incredible extra addition as well. The near 6 and a half minute close "Expectation/Reality" is an interesting beast. The first half is has Taryn's vocals layed over incredibly droney and atmospheric guitars, and it seems to match very well into a beautiful song. Then at about the 3 minute mark, this vintage sounding drum machine that sounds like it came straight from an early Casio keyboard, soon becomes the background beat for a pretty wonderful indie rock song. Added in are some incredibly distorted and bombastic drums that make the track pretty complete. While the track has far from my favorite melody on the album, it's still a pretty lovely indie rock tune.

All in all, Jekyll/Hyde is pretty darn close to perfect. Taryn Blake Miller's incredible lyrics/songwriting ability plus Jordan Geiger's hand in the production on this album makes it sound pretty incredible from every standpoint. It's been an amazing year for the Lawrence music scene, and this album is icing on a gigantic cake of that is a metaphor for the amount of incredible LP's and EP's that've come out in the last 9 months. Let's go Lawrence.

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