Most artists struggle a long time to find their individual voice; even Dylan took three albums to get up to speed. Such is not the case for Scott Blevins, the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer who makes his debut under the nom de musique Hyperstory. The album shows an artist in possession of a singular vision, making music that's deeply funky, pleasingly ambient, and darkly disturbing all at the same time. Dozens of players contribute to the soundscapes on Hyperstory, including a pedal steel guitarist that sounds like he's from outer space, not Nashville. The ensemble produces a blue, mysterious vibe unlike anything you've ever heard. There are only four songs on the album, but the intriguing instrumental passages that link them give the music a cinematic sweep. This is indeed an album, not just a collection of songs, and references genres as divers as Motown and German prog rock without sounding too much like either one. Singer Julian Cassia, the voice of Hyperstory, is blessed with a flexible high tenor that brings a grounded soulfulness, even to the most spacy numbers. He swings like a drunken gypsy on "A Happening," a vaguely trip-hoppy excursion, and channels the the Stylistics on "Something Good" an odd blend of London and Philadelphia. Cassia is quietly soulful on the smoldering "Will It Ever Change," his understated delivery a contrast to the wailing gospel singers in the background. Blevins' production makes the music sound laid-back, but like quiet storm radio, the calm surface belies the troubled emotions at the core of the album. Every song is tightly constructed and arranged with memorable choruses and dozens of instrumental hooks that slowly pull you deeper into the music's deep indigo hues.
by j. poet