Single Review – Do what You Can by The Umbrella Puzzles (2020) (Self released)

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, guitar and indoor

Of course I am biased? This is Ryan Marquez for heavens sake. He that has been able to do no wrong for the last 20 glorious years with various fuzz-pop / indie-pop acts.

This thankfully, culminated in this blog’s Subjangle label somehow getting him to agree to let us release his self titled The Umbrella Puzzles EP at the end of last year, which sold out quicker than free haircuts in lockdown.

Well Ryan is back with the latest single from his The Umbrella Puzzles project and of course it presents no discernible reason for any digression from my usual stance of  ‘fanboy gushing’.

The two tracks on this single (A-side, Do What You Can and the Hopkirk and Lee cover of Summershine – both below) have a concerted reduction in intensity, grandeur and perhaps even a sense modish compared to the EP, but still manage to shine in ways that simply reveal more of Marquez’ layers of artistry.

Subdued to the point of melancholic distraction, the slightly strummed guitar work still enables his trademark twanging riffs to course behind the sound, in a way that feels more incidental than the EP.  This infinitely more subtle twang, is however, the perfect augmentation to the fluttering melancolia that pervades the essence of the track.

Similarly, Marquez adds the slightest of ‘Puzzles twang’ to a the fragility of Hopkirk and Lee‘s ‘Summershine’. Again ‘that twang’ is just about allowed to climb through the beauty, in a similar manner to the A-side and makes the listening experience of this single one, where it is essential to listen to both tracks as a definitive whole, for optimal benefits.

I am not sure what is happening with Marquez and this The Umbrella Puzzles project from hereon in. However, our Subjangle label will be there offering a ridiculously small amount of $ trying to persuade him that our love for him trumps the bigger label interest that would certainly be justified !

Artist Links: Twitter Facebook


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