Review: Send Away Stranger, “Gables”
Apparently, twenty-somethings still have feelings.
And is there truly a better way to talk about feelings than creating incredibly cathartic, emotional music to help score the lives of the likeminded? Florida sad boys, Send Away Stranger, don’t seem to think so. With the release of Gables, these guys do an incredible job of laying all emotion out on the line, and presenting it to you in music that feels more like conversation than it does monologue. They’re holding nothing back as they lay it all out on the line in hopes that you can relate.
The four track EP starts out with Tongue and Teeth, and the track does a phenomenal job of showing off all of Send Away Stranger’s strongest attributes. Their heart on your sleeve delivery of music paired with vocals/lyrics that sound very stream of consciousness are put on the forefront a mere five seconds into the song. It’s that delivery that draws you in too. While you may not be able to relate to the vague lyrical content right away, the way it’s presented makes up for that in spades. When you catch yourself yell/singing along to the first lines of the song, it just feels like a release. Like you’re getting something heavy off your chest. Feelings like that, no matter how brief, are the reason I love this genre of music.
With a name like St. Angry, I hope you weren’t expecting a love song. This track does a great job of combining lyrics that are obviously political (“Settle down and have some children/Pray to God you’ll be forgiven/For doing nothing all along” and “Out with the old guns/And in with the nukes/Put a hole in the ground for this state to sink into”) with lyrics that express the woes of growing older and consequently growing out of relationships. Thankfully, I don’t find myself stuck in a fog of potential tangibility this time around. Which is why I found this song much, much easier to latch onto emotionally, despite its lack of gut wrenching wailing at the start.
Vocal change-ups are cool, and are the entire reason I was so taken off guard by Loopholes. The grit we’ve grown used to is thrown aside for vocals that sound like they would be right at home on the last Marietta EP. As if that wasn’t reason enough to love this song, I think it’s the feeling of conflicting emotions that the lyrics give off that really drive it home for me. They sound bitter and hurt, but the kind of bitter and hurt that can only exist when you still care about someone. Speaking as one of many, I think anyone that falls under the “human” category has probably felt this way before. There is an undeniable connection to just about anyone that can feel things buried in this song, so get up and go give it a listen.
Gables comes to a close with I Hate My Shelf. While I completely understand that this and Loopholes are two different songs, they work so well together that I refuse to accept it. The two just fit together so congruently and compliment each other so well. I Hate My Shelf starts off at about the same pace as Loopholes went out and then immediately picks up. I mean, I really dig these tracks individually, but I just think I would LOVE if they were one. The only real upsides to the separation is that the run time for both tracks doesn’t look so daunting (both run around 3:20, which admittedly looks a lot lighter than 6:40) and you can repeat whichever of the two you feel the most in your current situation. So, I see where they were coming from. Ending on this one two punch was great though because I would be lying if I said that I’m not going to keep an ear out for whatever these guys have coming next.
Do yourself a favor and head over to the Send Away Stranger bandcamp and pick up this record. It’s up for a name-your-price download, so you have literally no reason not to.