ACCENTS “Growth And Squalor” (Deep Elm Records)

ACCENTS came out of nowhere…and in a big way with an astonishingly mature debut that oozes with indie rock bliss. I live for surprises like this. It’s quite stunning how brilliantly Growth And Squalor is constructed…the combined result of the genuine, honest and often heartbreaking songwriting of TJ Foster matched with production wiz Benjamin Hemingway’s (both founding members of The Cast Before The Break) keen knack for making the sweet sound even sweeter. “Alright With Me” and “The Fog” showcase the duo’s ability to craft hooks that can’t be denied. They take risks on up-tempo rockers like “Routine Movements” and “Divide,” while also demonstrating they can piece together stripped-down, emotion-laden tunes like “Storms” and “The Low.” When the angelic chorus enters the last verse of Storms, you’re left utterly shattered…a moment tender enough to bring tears to the toughest of men. But it is the last track on the record that truly dictates Accents are much more than a one-trick pony. “Sorrow” builds up with an epic arrangement of atmospherics, gang vocals and pounding rhythms that sends chills down your spine. The words make you keep coming back, continually revisiting the album as if it were a call to action for the disillusioned, the jaded and the hopeless. But you’ll find comfort in these songs no matter how you feel because of the worn, almost surrendering authenticity to it all. “I thought a lot about the essence of time while writing this record, and how fragile it really is. I grew up spending a lot of my free time outside or doing things with my friends, but there was always some sort of human connection there. Now, we just seem to get more and more pulled away from that notion of sharing someone’s company as we rely on social media and smart phones and whatever else could be at the tips of our fingers. It’s like we’re experiencing life secondhand. I began thinking about how fleeting time really is, how quickly the days go by, and how ashamed I feel sometimes in regards to the amount of time I truly spend every day attached to technology of some sort. This is the album I have always wanted to make” says Foster. Accents has a masterful ability to juxtapose themes of frustration and detachment so perfectly with hopefulness and encouragement, leaving you content in the peace that indeed…there is a love that will find us all.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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