EP Review – It’s Just The Age EP BY 3.A.M. Again (2021) (Self released)
I am not sure whether our Subjangle label is just blessed, but the acts on our label tend to consist of the sort of genuinely lovely people, that this writer (and label co-founder) most certainly does not deserve !
One such ‘lovely’ and perhaps even ‘chief of the lovelies’ (although he would hate such a moniker) is Michael Telles, who Subjangle has had the absolute fortune of being associated with accross a couple of compilation albums, both under his old (pre copyright issues) name of Night Heron and more latterly under his new name of 3.A.M Again.
This Gloucester, Massachusetts, based English teacher is unnassuming. Perhaps to a fault? The sort of artist who you have to struggle to make realise his appeal, he drops regular EP’s onto Bandcamp with little fanfare and then seems surprised that any label/person, would be remotely interested in putting the best of them onto a physical format..
It’s Just The Age is undoubtedly the starting point for Subjangle’s begging around a another releasen. Stylistically it seems just that little bit more subdued than his last few EP’s, with the tone set by the opening instrumental track, Rolling, that has a production so lo-fi, that it feels almost fractured by it’s simplistic, uncluttered, beauty.
This is proceeded, with a certain sense of deliberate antagonism, by the most superbly unusual track of the Telles back catalogue so far, as he juxtaposes a slight sense of disco with dulcet, lo-fi, The Beach Boys melodies.
The sense of subdued continues in Misreadingand Eyes on the Page. These tracks rumble with atypical basslines, that only allow the beauty of his usual floral scented jangled riffs to dominate intermittently. Still stunning, this is a sound that hint at a slightly troubled mind, as opposed to the usual experience of spring, that is infused in his music.
This sense of melancolia is somewhat reinforced in the fuzz-pop aesthetic of Dressed in White and Wait and See. This is a sound that we have heard occasionally to augment certain tracks in the Telles back catalogue, but now it feels the usage has a more definitive purpose of supposing ‘different times’ for the artist.
Of course, I could be completely incorrect, in every one of my assumptions above. However, this is the first release from this act that has made me ‘think’ and/or feel, more than just the obvious beauty and as such succeeds on more levels, than just the usual sense of stunning.