Music has this unique ability to attach itself to places and times. It also has the ability to attach itself to seasons.
Pop punk, for me, is a genre that very much finds its home in spring and summer. A lot of that has to do with the bright upbeat sounds of the music, as well as seeing so many of my favourite bands on the Warped Tour.
Emo and post hardcore has always been a fall and winter genre for me. The minor chords, and introspective lyrics lend themselves to long evenings, and cooler days.
Into It. Over It. is the solo project of Evan Weiss. Weiss has also been in bands like Their/They're/There with Mike Kinsella of Owen and American Football. He's also currently releasing music with his other project Pet Symmetry.
With the release of Into It. Over It.'s new record Figure (Triple Crown Records), Weiss has created a soundscape that'll move you through the colder seasons up ahead, as he sings on the song Living Up To Let You Down: 'You'll move a block away, and we'll go on with both our lives/in cold conditions with a past of alternating dives/stiff drinks abandoned before they sink'.
As far as overall influences are concerned, Weiss owes a lot to bands like Death Cab For Cutie, or The Decemberists on this project. Both of those bands also comfortably sit in those brisker seasons.
While most of the music, specifically the guitar work, is pretty straight forward, Weiss let's his skills shine. He's not over-playing anything on this record, letting the songs speak for themselves, but he's not afraid to throw some intricate riffs into a song here and there.
Perfect Penmanship features some subtle piano lines, and lyrics that paint pictures of winter days: 'But you left your calling card, penciled out in the snow/It's perfect penmanship, two consonants on a well-frosted window'.
The way Courtesy Greetings introduces itself to the album, pulls you along. These songs flow together from one to the next, aspects of which remind me of Transatlanticism from Death Cab For Cutie. Much in the same way that record works, once it finishes you want to start it over again.
Breathing Patterns introduces a glockenspiel to the mix of instruments. This song is beautiful from start to finish. When the instruments cut out to a swirling acoustic guitar, only to swell back in with rolling snare, and a heavily distorted bass (at least I think it's a bass), it creates a moment on the album. Weiss sings 'And I've become a walkin' complication/Can't make those mistakes again' - he is all of us.
Brushstrokes might just be my favourite track on the album. The way Weiss weaves the melody from one line to the next - it's hard not to get completely lost in the song. There is no real chorus here, but the song doesn't need one. Every time he sings the word 'brushstrokes' it brings you back to the song, and the direction it's going. 'Brushstrokes, the more subtle the detail/the more they take a shape of their own' - this song is full of subtle details.
We Prefer Indoors is a song where Weiss shows off his riffing. This is interesting sonically. Usually the kind of guitar work you hear on this song is bright and punchy, but to fit the mood of this album it sits a little more in the mids. It doesn't try to steal the show, but it's standout nonetheless. This song eventually punches you in the face as Weiss sings 'disappear, get lost before you're seen/we've hit a wall' to finish the song.
A Lyric In My Head I Haven't Thought Of Yet is a bit of a strange turn for me. It starts out with some incredibly beautiful guitar work, but as it leads into the second verse it introduces what appears to be a midi bassline that loses me. It takes a subtle song, and tries to turn it into a forced groove. Thankfully it all comes together in the back half of the song, when the drums and piano open up a bit, before quieting down again. It's also one of my favourites, lyrically, on the album.
A Light in the Trees is a great way to finish this record. It reminds me a little of Passenger Seat by Death Cab For Cutie, with its subdued sounds and images of long drives at night.
With Figure, Into It. Over It. has put together an album that might bring some comfort as we dive headlong into fall, in this year that has been unlike any other year. There is despair, struggle, and hope weaved through this album. So grab a drink, caffeinated or not, and buckle up.
'Wanted you to stay, but I knew you had to go/I pushed for racing speeds around the bend but lost control.'
For more new music, check out our review of the latest record from Lo Tom.