I assume that everyone who regularly writes about music struggles with the continuing challenge of finding words to describe sound, and at least occasionally pauses in their efforts to actually think about the strangeness of that endeavor. Those with greater insecurities about their writing talents (e.g., me) probably pause more often than those who are more confident, but surely it confounds all scribblers from time to time. Some recordings force that confounding confrontation more so than others, and in my case Impavida’s Antipode is one of those.
A refuge from the writer’s struggle can be found when the music of an album (or at least some of it) is available for streaming. At least then, despite how inadequate the words might feel, interested listeners can experience the sensations directly, without the necessarily imperfect mediation of someone’s words, which necessarily reflect a very subjective response — and perhaps a very inarticulate one at that. We have that welcome refuge today, because today marks the release of Antipode by Ván Records, and the label has now launched a full stream of the album, which we’re sharing below.
So, that ought to be the beginning and the end of this post, right? Well, not so fast. Sometimes it might be enough to just toss a music stream in front of people with a perfunctory urging to listen, but for people like me that’s unsatisfying. If we like an album enough to recommend it, it’s usually the case that it provokes feelings we need to get off our chest, in part as an expression of gratitude to the artist and in part because that challenge is out there — that challenge of trying to find words to describe sound — and surrender is the coward’s way out. Continue reading »