|MH-072 Is And Of The - Handpainted Glow
With Handpainted Glow, Andrew Bandos' Is And Of The makes great strides just months after his debut full-length, Heads Phased For Dreamless Sleep. Building on the production capabilities that caused All Music to note his "masterful touch with shaping and layering sounds, which is all the more impressive considering he was only 20 at the time of the album’s release," the twenty-eight minute, six-track EP shows growth in musicality, recording, mixing and songcraft that is phenomenal given how quickly it follows on the heels of his debut. "How We Used To Drift" has the beautiful ambience that reminds of the quiet before the storm in the best Explosions In The Sky material. On "The Past Inside The Present" the artist samples his own playing before chopping it over tastefully layered guitars and finally adding vocals processed to the point of turning them into just another instrument in a beautiful track. "Grasshopper" and "Foggy Pennsylvania" continue the impressive run of music that walks the line between post-rock, shoegaze and electronic before "I Drew A Crescent With My Movement Forward" and "Out Door See" completely deconstruct what has come before with lo-fi piano, warm wordless vocals, crying stringed instruments soaked in room reverb, and a fearless willingness to let the songs breathe. Handpainted Glow makes it even more apparent that Is And Of The is laying the groundwork for an impressive career.
|Once in a while you come across a shining jewel among the sea of wannabe-rockstars on the internet. - Life Is Awesome / There is no description that can do this justice. - Aiding & Abetting|
|Once in a while you come across a shining jewel among the sea of wannabe-rockstars on the internet. After following Mush Records on twitter and reading their mentions of a new electro album called “Handpainted Glow” by Is And Of The, I was interested in seeing what all the hype was about. Is And Of The, we discovered, is the musical project of Drew Bandos, a humble, 20 year old experimental musician, who obsessively writes, records, and produces his own music in his dorm room in between classes. But this is not an amateur effort from a young man aimlessly tinkering with sound effects. Rather, Handpainted Glow, we realized, is an enjoyable earful of melodic synths, fused with pleasant guitar riffs, like a collection of memories pasted together into one bold and stunning piece. Drew Bandos has stated he always created music for his own enjoyment, and after one day deciding to package a demo, he shipped it off to many labels, finally being signed by Mush Records. We are glad he decided to share his music with the world. You can tell that each song on this album tells a personal story, although the lyrics are inaudible and often “drenched in reverb to spoken word ramblings,” as Mush Records puts it. Even so, you can’t help but get caught up in the hypnotic reverie of the music, without knowing what the lyrics are saying. Handpainted Glow is an album that must be heard and promises to make you stop and reminisce.|
Our thoughts on the tracklist:
How We Used to Drift — it’s really 4 songs in one. Keep listening and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. What begins as a soft, introspective melody develops into an upbeat foot-tapping rhythm, and just when you are getting ready to dance, you are tossed ruthlessly into a sobering and eerie sequence of strings, which makes you stop and ponder what just happened. Can a song without lyrics be so thought-provoking? Apparently, yes.
The Past Inside the Present – choppy synths, ghostly lyrics, a moaning electric guitar. Adding to the mystery of the song and what it must represent, a woman’s voice speaks at the end about the “fourth dimension.”
Grasshopper — perfectly titled – some of the unique effects sound insect-like. We like.
Foggy Pennsylvania – more dreamy synths over inaudible foggy lyrics, perhaps Drew’s memories of Pennsylvania, of which he is a native. The song wraps up with a soft guitar as though the fog has cleared.
I Drew A Crescent With My Movement Forward -different from the rest of the album – this one is a haunting humming over piano.
Out Door See – gentle, dreamy, is that wind chimes we hear? This one is a bit long — 7+ minutes of a lazy summer afternoon. A good way to round off the album.
Our favorite: How We Used to Drift. - Life Is Awesome