Culture of Pop

BASECAMP: “In Stone” Review – Winter Is Here


BASECAMP, a Nashvillian trio of uniquely talented artists released their latest body of work this past October, the “In Stone” EP. Paralleling the energy of the changing seasons, the project has intense mellows and chilling melodic properties that make it a rather complimentary partner to the fall and approaching winter landscapes.

The music isn’t conventional by any means, even in the realm of unorthodox genres like Electronic and Lo-Fi. It combines many different time signatures and moods, often times creating a certain type of musical vibe then skipping through an unexpected transition into something completely foreign to the previous bit. It’s as indie as indie gets and will delight the many ears looking for something outside of mainstream’s current collection of sound.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the EP has to be the vocals, particularly the harmonic aspects and buttery sound of lead vocalist Aaron Miller. One feels an immediate fondness for Miller‘s voice/energy as “Lo” kicks off the track list. It’s his vocal presence that really helps this record achieve an alternative R&B sound. Without it, the overall product of the band would be something else entirely. A naturally beautiful display of vocalization, reminiscent of James Blake, the creamy vocals provide much of the depth and appeal of the record.

Aaron C. Harmon and Jordan Reyes handle the production and soul side of the beats beautifully: a deep and dark flavor of beautiful that’s as tasty as it is heavy.

Titling this piece, “Winter Is Here”, is a direct reaction to the composition of the tracks and the way they made me feel while writing. Tucked in the Pacific Northwest, just recently returning from a trip to Los Angeles, this album helped my psyche settle into the reality of slow freezes, powerful rain transitioning into white snow, the appeal of good bourbon, firelight and warm bodies engulfing in celebration of the seasons.

The track list is petite yet very rich. And since it’s a rather small collection of artistry, I won’t discuss the entire EP in the individual song sense, I’ll leave that journey to you, the user. I do feel the need to mention, “Reap”, however: the last piece on the record and my personal favorite. Versatile in personality, emotional and stormy-sexual, this particular song highlights the best aspects of the band itself and their body of work. The track creeps up on the senses with a haunting, sensuous energy and one can instantly feel a wavy flow eliciting euphoric vibrations. A deep groove is established throughout the beginning of the track, and at about the halfway point we discover a super beautiful electronic/house transition that breaks out in a deep bounce. At this point, all those who love to move their bodies when the vibe’s right, can have a fiery little dance party in wake of the cool. And it’s just so fun. And different. And unexpected. And that’s what I think is so uniquely special about this band and this project.

It’s no surprise that OWSLA Records picked up BASECAMP shortly thereafter their emergence, as the cultivated sound of the group adds vastly to the greater dynamic of the label’s product and appeal. BASECAMP and their latest EP, “In Stone” deserve many moments in the sunshine for a musical achievement that delivers chilling grooves and a cool sensuality that haunts with emotional integrity.

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