We got this submission with this as the only description “I’m a father of two making art in my basement”. Is there anything else better than that? To all the bands that have spent tons of money on photos, videos, studios, publicists, etc.; you’re doing it wrong. The answer this whole time has been all you need is the basement. This record right off the bat by Age Wise titled “Light From The Window” feels enormous and epic. If you told me hey check out this new Flaming Lips record or some other major label act I wouldn’t have batted an eye at the release I was handed.
The album starts with “Bad Side” which just feels so big and important. It’s orchestral and has this feel like Fleet Foxes, The Shins, Band Of Horses. It’s hard to pinpoint but it’s an amalgamation of everything that good indie rock is. The album has tones throughout that were all created in this magical basement. Seriously? First off this sounds like a band that has fleshed out these great songs but nothing sounds fake at all, it sounds like a real orchestra backing this album. This guy needs to produce other bands in his basement.
Every once in a while over these lush indie pop songs is the twang of a slide guitar and it adds the icing on the cake. The strings, the drums, the voice, and all of it mixed with pristine songwriting makes this release very enjoyable to listen to. In a way with the layered vocals wrapped in reverb it’s a little reminiscent of The Polyphonic Spree. Then in toned down songs like “The Real Dream” it feels like an up and coming Nashville act. The vocals are just so genuine and innocent sounding, which is something you just can’t fake.
Songs like “Sacred Palm” if it was released on Barsuk or Dangerbird in 2008 would be a huge hit up there with Death Cab For Cutie stuff. Whatever is in the water where Age Wise is seems to be working and I hope that many more records are on their way. It’s like the trifecta of understanding good songwriting, a great vocal and production value. When Age Wise said he was making “Art” in a basement, he was not lying. This album is art, this album is an achievement and I hope that it gets the recognition it deserves. The future of music is genuine albums like this that can be called art, produced in basements with extra love and attention for the material.
- Sam Lowry, BMN Contributor