I hadn’t heard of Bag of Bones until a few days ago, and after listening to ‘On Moving On’ several times this morning, I’m convinced they’re one of the best bands I’ve stumbled upon so far this year.
Bag of Bones write emotionally charged music, that relies on gorgeous sounding soundscapes and passionate lyrics to create music that oozes nostalgia and sadness in equal measure, and they do it very well. ‘On Moving On’ is a great 8 track album, containing just over 20 minutes of finely crafted ambient emo music that transports a listener. This ability to make an audience drift off is reminiscent of ‘American Football’, as a result of the floating waves of melody, riding on the back of single guitar notes. The intro’s to songs such as ‘Kindred Spirits’ and ‘A Sunset Drive’ mirror American Football perfectly, and the comparison is obvious. By adding heartfelt lyrics to these melodies it makes for a great listening experience that leaves you feeling not quite there, in the best way.
‘On Moving On’ is never explosive in the way that bands like Nai Harvest are, and this is the American bands strongest point. It allows the mellow music to speak for itself, and doesn’t rely on aggression to convey meaning. Song structures complement the tone very well and the use of more than one vocalists add a dimension to the music that allows it to expand it’s reach, by delivering emotion on several different levels. Instrumentally ‘On Moving On’ is very good, making use of a variety of instruments (similarly to American Football), as you’d expect of a band with eight members, and each melody and instrument blend exceptionally well.
‘On Moving On’ is a lyrically reflective album, on memories and feelings, and is nostalgic as a result, as well as very honest. It’s very well written, and depressing at times, but this is common in the genre, and Bag of Bones write well enough that you truly feel the emotions in relation to the lyrics. On some songs the vocals take a back seat to the instruments and ‘On Moving On’ is a very balanced listen as a result, including fast songs (‘Memorial Park’) and slow songs (‘Walk’). As a whole it comes together beautifully, to create a musical canvas made up of several different elements – each of which brings something to the table.
If you have half an hour free and want to drift off, reflect, or just genuinely ‘feel’, ‘On Moving On’ is a perfect way to do so, expertly crafted and performed. It’s music in it’s purest and best form, and shouldn’t be avoided. Also, for $1 (65p) it’s also a bargain, and definitely money well spent in terms of value and quality.
Rating – 9/10
Download it here: http://bagofbones.bandcamp.com/album/on-moving-on