Released: March 2012
Label: Choose My Music
The State Of Music is the ongoing project originally created by Dom Paczko, owner of Choose My Music Records. The project sees the people of Choose My Music scouring through all 50 states of the USA, through the unfathomable amount of independent artists, to select just one to represent their state in the label’s albums, titled The State Of Music Volumes. The profits garnered from purchasing these volumes (via iTunes for digital copies) will be donated to a wonderful charity called Camden Calling, a charity that help out musicians and other creative people who are homeless or who are just generally down out of luck. Donate to the charity here.
So far two editions have been released this year, with a third volume dropping 29th June. The first was a great collection of rock, acoustic and rap songs, but The State Of Music Vol 2 has no rap songs, with more of an emphasis on acoustic and rock this time around.
Some of the rockier tunes on this album from the like of Revolution, I Love You, The Revolving Birds seem to add a slight hint of electronic elements to their sound. This adds to their solid rock instrumentations and thick atmospheres to help create a strong, catchy introduction to The State Of Music Vol 2.
Following on is Canon Blue, a Tennessee band that incorporates string and orchestral arrangements to their sound to form a really nice, soothing sound and a nice change of pace for the volume. This is definitely one of my favourite songs from the entire project.
Dog & Panther’s song On My Friends is a sweet song with an innocent instrumentation and an extremely creative yet hilarious blowing-raspberries mouth…riff? I’m not sure, but it’s adorable. This also pads out the slower tempo that helped calm down the momentum from the first two songs, but it’s yet another solid track.
Elsa Rae’s It Gets Too Quiet is another favourite of mine. Its subtle ukulele/guitar intro is as innocent as they come, but when paired alongside Rae’s breathy, sweet vocals, it suddenly grabs your attention and gets you to listen intently. Her voice is just divine, and the ukulele/guitar instrumentation fits it perfectly. Great song.
It would be strange to leave a rocking song in the backend of the album, but Twin Brother’s Places With Names begins in such loud fashion that it makes the surprising return of rock on The State Of Music Vol 2 sound that much better. Another good song. It has a great progression; eventually leading up to all instruments bouncing off one another to form a thick wall of excitement. Following next is My Goodness with the song C’mon Doll. With it’s steady rhythm and catchy guitar riffs, it’s another solid song that overall helps make The State Of Music Vol 2 a much more consistent listen than it’s predecessor.
The penultimate track on The State Of Music Vol 2 is from Rhode Island’s Vio-Mir with the song A Nice Spot Somewhere In The Woods. It’s subtle, barely audible instrumentation and fragile sounding vocals remind me of The Microphones’ The Glow Pt.2 in terms of sound. However, this does not sound like a clone of a track from The Glow Pt.2, as the sudden increase in volume and added instruments and big booming folk climax turn this song into a wonderful listen.
Finally we end with Louisiana’s Vox & The Hound with the track Cloud 9. It begins with a haunting finger picked melody with a repeated cymbal pattern, closely followed by echo-y vocals which add more mystique to the atmosphere. It soon blooms into a serene, very natural sound that closes what has been a fantastic listen in the best way possible.
The State Of Music Vol 2 is definitely my favourite volume yet, just for its consistency allowing for each song to blend into each other a little bit. This volume has a stronger line-up of artists too, all showcasing why they were chosen to represent their state and be featured on this compilation. Once again, please purchase this album via iTunes, or donate to Camden Calling here.