Monday, February 22, 2016
Emotional - Ahh…The Name Is Emotional, Baby!
Brian Wakefield has been releasing albums as Emotional for a few years now. All too quietly, in my opinion. The dude has a way with stitching together a song that hits my musical and, well, emotional buttons in a manner that leaves me happy and satisfied. Wakefield has been part of San Francisco's underground music scene for over fifteen years. He is the head honcho of Death Records, and was a member of Melted Toys, as well as contributing to other projects. But it is as Emotional that his unique and appealing brand of dream pop is best expressed.
Emotional's debut LP is Ahh ... The Name Is Emotional, Baby. It is dream pop that begins with a nostalgic melodic base and then builds an aural collage with retro and jangling guitars, bright synths, woozy soundscapes and touches of '80s new wave, folk and California country, soul, and psychedelia. The hooks are as smart as any to be found on the mainstream pop charts, but are surrounded by textural layers that the hired gun songwriters can't be bothered to craft and their listeners don't appreciate anyway. It is warm, eminently accessible and relateable, and stands up well to repeated listens. A couple of representative tracks are below, but I encourage you to visit one of the Bandcamp pages offering the album to listen to the entire album. It might be the most consistently joy-producing set of songs you've heard this year. If you only have time for one, I recommend "Lies".
The distribution of Ahh ... The Name Is Emotional, Baby is somewhat unusual. Eight labels have joined together to release the album. So you have your choice of Burger Records, Danger Collective, Death Records, Empty Cellar, Gnar Tapes, Grabbing Clouds, Little L, and Plastic Response. We have linked several below.
Bandcamp for previous releases
Burger Records' page for Ahh ... The Name Is Emotional Baby
Empty Cellar Records' Bandcamp page for Ahh … The Name Is Emotional Baby
Gnar Tapes' page for Ahh ... The Name Is Emotional Baby
Plastic Response Records' Bandcamp page for Ahh … The Name Is Emotional Baby