I went out on a limb this week to review something that I hadn’t discovered myself – something I was completely unfamiliar with until a week ago. “The album is called ‘Rhythm & Amplitude. It’s amazing,” my friend told me on the patio at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville. The opening lyrics of the album explain, “I am under the spell of a melody.” This statement appropriately sums up my feelings about the record.
The maestro of said melody is Evan P. Donohue. His voice is strangely reminiscent of Brandon Flowers but twice as bold and emotive. His record “Rhythm & Amplitude” features upbeat indie pop/surf rock, in the vein of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and early Of Montreal, which is utterly deceiving in that you’ll be dancing and clapping along when you realize that the lyrics are about dying alone in a sea of tears. This 16-track semi-autobiographical storybook illustrates experiences inspired by Donohue’s life in California, New York, and his most recent home, Nashville.
Donohue’s simple and sophisticated melodies are a welcome addition to Nashville’s repertoire. The lyrics are frank and the arrangements are solid. Since moving to Music City, he has collected a band of talented locals to back him. They released “Rhythm & Amplitude in April of this year and are currently anticipating a new cassette release at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at The Darkroom in Nashville. In exchange for the $6 cover, you get to see four bands, including Evan P. Donohue, of course, and a copy of the new cassette. In addition to having mastered catchy song composition, Donohue apparently also excels at giving you the most in exchange for your meager monetary contributions. The content of the forthcoming cassette is unknown to me, but if it’s anything like “Rhythm & Amplitude,” it will be worth your while to check it out.