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Symmetry - Junky

11/06/14 08:00, by Mark, 599 words | , Categories: Music  

The next few Monday (sometimes Wednesday OR EVEN THURSDAY) posts are going to focus on local music from Southern New England and an entry from Los Angeles with New England roots.

Symmetry - Junky

Searching for personal meaning, the feeling of time running out, Junky settles into a deep vibe that sets course right through the end of the album.

Release date: October 2013

Today I'm going to talk about Symmetry. He's a local artist from North Providence who I found out about by stumbling through the internet, coming across the Symmetry / Ryan Lewis LP sometime in late 2010 or 2011. That album was a hip hop, foot-stomping groove machine; I caught a couple of shows, and called myself a casual fan.

Junky came to be through a very successful Kickstarter campaign. I jumped in on it and received a copy of the finished product at the end of 2013. I ran through it a few times and latched onto a couple of tunes that felt like a bridge from the LP record to the current release.

I sat down to write about this at the end of last week and realized that I hadn't fully digested this album, so I gave it a listen on Sunday. And then another listen. Then two more after that. I ran through it again on Monday and think I can finally try to articulate it. This album isn't high concept or unnecessarily abstract, but it's deep. Symmetry has said Junky was six years in the making and there's definitely a feel of focused construction.

The album opens with "The Low," a soft, piano-driven song that showcases his jazzy, R&B like vocals. This track sets up the title track "Junky" about the loss of a friend to heroin, but hits on the larger themes of addiction and its presence in our everyday lives.

One of the songs I latched onto early on was "Bad Influence"; while slower in tempo, it had remnants of what I liked about the last album and it's a really nice teenage love song. "Everything" follows that track and it's the most soul-affirming track on the album. There's an old-school rap attack on the amount of stuff we let distract us in our daily lives called "Shit" and then we reach a turning point.

"Reinvention" begins this shift where the majority of the tracks go even deeper in thought and instrumentation. Addiction in reference to relationships, searching for personal meaning, the feeling of time running out, Junky settles into a deep vibe that sets course right through the end of the album.

This made it hard to process on the run or while working on other things. This doesn't mean you can't try, but this is a personal and reflective group of songs that become more rewarding when you realize that framework. I think "Terrible Beautiful" encapsulates the second half of this album. All of our troubles, our wants, and pleas; they can be awful, but we've only got one turn on this ride, so let's make the best of it.

Junky is a great collection of songs that talk about and hum on addiction, but expands in scope to who and where we might be. It might have a particular resonance for those of us cruising through our thirties, looking for solid ground and starting to realize that life continues to be the game that moves as you play. Listen to Junky here, maybe even buy it, MOVE THE NEEDLE ON THE ECONOMY, and your musical tastes.

This is the soundtrack to: Survival & reflection, after the party has ended, a milestone for change.

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