I Miss Everyone I’ve Ever Met
Lonely Boy Records
Release Date: January 22, 2016
This single (or EP depending on your perspective) consists of two new songs and then two acoustic re-recordings. The two new songs show Naturalist maturing from their prior releases. Where before on Friends Naturalist raged with alternating screams and singing done with a sneer, this time out Naturalist develops and expounds upon the pop that they hinted at with “Here”. The songs are roomier, more developed, better produced and more easily consumable. It could be said that Naturalist have jumped the gap from post-hardcore to just good ol’ emo. Think of the progression of Zao to The Juliana Theory and you can see the way that Naturalist is moving. They are just doing it as a band together instead of by having members splinter off.
The title track is an amazing indie pop song. Extremely well written. The thing I can’t get over here is the vocal delivery. From what I can tell, this is the same singer, but he can sing now. As in actually sing, not whine, not sneer, nothing but singing. This change allows the true pop gem inside to shine through. Yes, the band can’t resist a breakdown at the end of the song, but it’s not overpowering like it was on their past releases. The other full track here “Rapture” is similar in sound, but a little more downcast. Ironic for the title I know. The temp here is what makes this the weaker of the first two tracks, but that’s about it. The two acoustic tracks (“Rapture” and “You” from Friends) are what you would expect. Vocals layered in delay over guitars. They allow the songs to fully breathe, but to me, they are just throw ins that take away that end up getting skipped to go back to the first two tracks.
Lyrically, Naturalist is uncomfortable for me. As a professing Christian, only David Bazan has made me this uncomfortable with his words. Not saying that Naturalist doesn’t have the right to say what they are, but I just want to include this for anyone who shares my beliefs. These are tracks that continue with Naturalist’s persistent theme of choosing to leave the church/feeling pushed out by the church. To this writer, it makes for extremely sad songs.
Pick up this release. It’s a great buy, either on tape or as a download. I for one am hoping we see Naturalist continue down the road they have started down with I Miss Everyone I've Ever Met.
Reviewed by: Rob 1340