So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite

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While earlier Dreamend albums were more of the dynamic post-rock variety, Ryan Graveface took a lo-fi psych-folk approach for 2010’s So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite. In contrast to the vocoder and synth of Black Moth Super Rainbow, his vocals swirl around a washed organic blanket made of banjo, organs, pedal steel, and acoustic guitar. The warm backing tracks balance out the dark lyrical content, which takes inspiration from a serial killer’s journal and spreads Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" concept over a full album. Luckily, the album isn’t that ominous at face value. In fact, you could easily end up packing this for a picnic with a loved one if you didn’t listen carefully first. Dig a little deeper behind the sun-soaked choruses and you find some obsessive undertones, similar to the narrative "I'll be watching you" voice in the Police's “Every Breath You Take.” In the same way that Sting pulled the wool over the eyes of wedding DJs around the world, Graveface manages to sing lines about committing a heinous crime and hiding the evidence without ever sounding the slightest bit sinister. Quirky, maybe. Perhaps even cute, from a distance. The majority of the tracks are peppy, gingerbread sweet, and concise tunes. All hang right around the three-minute mark, with the exception of the long, cricket-filled opener, “Pink Clouds in the Woods,” and the super psych-soaked ten-minute finale, "An Admission." Both are good bookends to a great album. Just don't play it for the kids.

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