The Beauty of Seryn

[rating:8/10]

If The Psalters decided to reinterpret the music from O Brother, Where Art Thou? and invite the best post-rock, bluegrass, and alt-rock musicians they could get their hands on, that may be a fair comparison to Seryn’s debut full-length, This is Where They Are. The thing about this comparison and any other comparisons that may be drawn is that I typically hate almost all of this kind of music. In best case scenarios, I feel nothing one way or another about all of that hippy dippy crap, multi-instrumentation hipster garbage, and anything that one may recommend for fans of Monsters of Folk or any member thereto.

Seryn’s debut is harder to put into words than almost anything I’ve reviewed in some time. At times melodies harken to Cusackian muse Peter Gabriel, at others a much less irritating Dave Matthews Band, and still at others Polyphonic Spree with a rootsy, country soul. With a sound described on the press sheet as “folk-pop” for lack of any better terms, Seryn does one thing in particular remarkably well… they perform as a single unit. Some bands of remarkably talented musicians seemingly try to one up each other and perform as a group of musicians (a la Dream Theater), rather than one symbiotic unit working together for a common goal. Seryn not only succeeds in putting forth a unified, harmonious sound.

It’s nearly impossible to choose a standout track, because the album comes across like the band, as a unified product. In today’s iTunes-driven music landscape, it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to laud the construction of an album rather than a just a song. However, if one must choose a song to be the “favorite”, this newfound fan is forced to choose “On My Knees” for its simple feel and powerful message: “On my knees, I can see where my heart needs to be. When this life gets to me, I’ll be found on my knees.”

This is Where We Are is truly a whimsical journey of thoughtfulness, contemplation, love, strength, and beauty. Folk-pop with elements of shoegaze, bluegrass, country, alternative rock, and just about everything in between, the finished product is a singular sound and feeling of beauty and peace. For some, the soundtrack to a long afternoon drive for others the backdrop to prayer and meditation, the album likely has a place in nearly any person’s collection. For me, a new form of musical Prozac for when my days take my mind to places it doesn’t want or need to go… an album to keep me grounded and able to approach life with a clear mind and an open heart.

~ by thepaintedman on January 16, 2011.

One Response to “The Beauty of Seryn”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alan Brown. Alan Brown said: RT @velvetbluemusic: the painted man on Seryn : http://thepaintedman.brookiellen.com/the-beauty-of-seryn/ […]

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