Title: Ending and Beginning
Artist: Lonesome Panda Society
Released: March 2013
Genre: Indie Pop
Artist Country: Japan
Catalog Number: mi215
License: CC BY-NC-ND
This is the type of release that reminds me of what I like about lo-fi recordings. When done correctly the music shines through above the production and all of the digital manipulation we have become accustomed to today, especially in most of the EDM styles of music.
In fact, I get the feeling this may have been a recording done live to a two-track recorder and then digitized from the tapes. If it is, Bravo to Lonely Panda Society for going the minimal route and focusing on the music and lyrical content first, and making the production mostly an afterthought.
However, that being said, I do have the concern that the vocals are a bit too low in the mix on this recording. Not that you can’t hear them, but sometimes it is difficult to make them out. One thing I’ve heard from other artists is that you can’t have you vocals too loud in a mix. You might think they are too loud, but the listener is more likely to hear them better. Of course, there is a common sense element to this. The vocals shouldn’t be so loud that they are clipping or completely covering up all other elements of the recording.
In this recording, it’s obvious that the guitar work was the primary emphasis. It’s definitely front and center, and really is the shape of the songs. Other instrumentation such as the percussion and keyboards, etc. are all subservient to the guitar work. Fortunately the smooth hand-picked, with a little fretwork noise gives an edge to the guitar work.
Overall, this is a wonderful example of melancholy lo-fi. The tape hiss, beautiful guitar work, sparse instrumentation all meld together to make this a wonderful recording to listen to. Makes me long for the long past when melancholy rock we as still fashionable. But this modern take on the older style takes the ideas in their own direction, without sounding like a tribute. And that is when this style of recording separates itself from the others. Which I welcome with open ears.