And we’re right back at it again folks! Even if 2019 was not a pretty year for most of us, it is always helpful to look up for tomorrow and take in whatever 2020 has in store for us. To extend your enthusiasm post-festivities season, let us open this year to bright beats that energize our lost souls and reignite our passions. Any Name’s Okay put out their first EP called All I Feel and See which talks about matters of self-conflict, finding courage, and admiration through upbeat arrangements. The band is a 5-piece alternative pop band that formed back in 2017 with sounds reminiscent of mid 90s radio pop and soft ballads popularized in the 2000s.
All I Feel and See is a set of six varying styles of songs exemplifying the alternative tendencies of the band well. Although the recording of the songs is a hit or miss, the instrumentals are done very well and clean. There are two main voices that the band showcases. First is the female vocals introduced in the opening track which I would describe as versatile because it sounds strong in the emotional highs of the songs while sustaining that R&B feel that can be heard in MYMP songs. The male vocals jive well with the first singers because it is not very deep, hence making it possible to make baritone vocal harmonies fitting this kind of music. Overall, the vocals are good and very soothing, one example is the singing in Orasan which sounds vocally airy. The guitar tones are bright reminding me of brit-pop guitar hooks with a hint of jazzy licks in some of the album bridges. They also make use of an acoustic guitar adding a country element to the mix. I love the complexities of the drums and bass because they got the right pace for each song. The breaks, pauses, and dynamics drive the mood of the songs making it feel like the EP takes you to an unpredictable adventure each time which is truly refreshing if you’d ask me. This can be heard in The Sun, Coconut, and All I Feel and See.
The lyrics can get very vanilla on some parts, but the perspectives from where they are written make it very interesting. If the motivation to write was to clearly send a message, then this album perfectly does that straight to the point. The Sun about feeling mundane at times, however, someone you know takes those lows away because their enthusiasm or presence that’s referred to as “brighter than the sun” motivates anyone around them. It could also be a personally motivating song that describes how anyone can be their own fire-starter which is complemented by the build-up in instrumentals. As for the song Coconut, I’d like to think of it as a song dedicated to life itself asking what does it take to make things go our way for they do not usually do because life is unpredictable like when coconuts fall down from a tree hitting us. ? (Who Do You Think Of) and Vivid are like two succeeding episodes in a rom-com with the first singing about intentions and questions of love whereas the latter being able to let go of the doubts to express those intentions. Orasan is a ballad love song that talks about hanging on to a past love and how this person wants it to last forever because any span of time is not enough to show their love to this other person. And lastly, All I Feel and See is about life not being as dreamy as we envisioned it when we were younger and we are left with no choice but to take it all in eventually leading to a new interpretation of our own self-worth, if living life is still worth it.
Nit-picks: As I said, the recording is not consistent for most songs which makes the album less cohesive even if the playing is near top-class. One example is the song Vivid which the vocals were too pronounced that it seems like the singing and instrumentals were recorded in different studios. I also can’t here that atmospheric sound that makes each song sound like it is part of this EP. Some lines are also too wordy because I can hear on some occasions that the singers are chasing the lyrics just to fit them in one measure which makes it feel forced.
I love the versatility in sounds and this kind of pop music because they are always refreshing to the ear. The tandem vocals are spectacular, and the percussion choices are effective. I think that they could have done a better job with the production and writing. I give All I Feel and See a commendable 5.8/10. I look forward to Any Name’s Okay’s growth because I think that their alternative sensibilities are good in taste.
Top 3 Picks
- ? (Who Do You Think Of)
When to listen
- Roadtrips to Antipolo (or to anywhere high)
- Doing warm-up exercises