Sounds as therapy
Reliant Tom is more than just a band. The band from Brooklyn incorporates their music with dance and performance art. They might not be found playing traditional concerts any time soon. The core of the band is songwriter/lead singer Claire Cuny, who is also a dancer and choreographer in the band and Monte Weber, who is the arranger/producer, sound artist and multi-instrumentalist (just to name a few.) On their official website, Cuny describes the band as a “multi-media performance experience that straddles the line between pop and experimental music.”
Now with their newest album Play and Rewind, Reliant Tom explores new and mature sounds. Along with the fascinating sounds are the emotional and poetic lyrics and vocals, which create an intimate atmosphere. On Play and Rewind, Cuny works through the loss of her father. The album is inspired by her loss. Knowing that she was able to create such an intense album, after something so traumatic, shows how healing music really is. Cuny’s vocals are prominent yet so delicate. In the end, the vocals and sounds are in perfect harmony. Audiophiles get ready for major goosebumps.
The title track “Play and Rewind” begins with soft acoustics, which sounds dream-like and almost heavenly. With “11-2,” the album gets deeply personal. The piano and heavy electro beat combined lead to a gloomy and dark atmosphere, which gets even more elevated by the intimate lyrics about the loss of a loved one, in this case, her father. The most haunting verse of the song displays the torturing feelings that come with death. “You know I was thinking it was only a dream/ cause when I’d open my mouth to scream/ nothing came out / I couldn’t make a single sound.”
Some elements of “Goodbye Silver Moon” hit the audience like a storm, especially the high point of the song, a flurry of electro sound that is clashing together. “Sky is Falling” is one of the highlights of the album. The song combines so many sounds, like the screams and the of it, that even without the anxiety-driven lyrics, the song would deliver its message without a doubt. Cuny’s vocals are such perfection and with so much soul, “The Beach” is going to give every listener goosebumps, guaranteed. Softer vocals await with “Cafeteria Believer” Her voice sounds almost like a sigh, one that people let out when they are done with this world.
“Deepest Blue” explores one of the many things that come along with grief, guilt. Everyone who ever lost someone they loved will understand this feeling, the confusion and frustration. The piano supports Cuny’s voice while electro beats appear like a slight shiver. Cuny is also able to display her remarkable vocal range once again. The wave-like saxophone sounds in “Shape Parade” add a new experience to the album. The last track, “Just Play” is one final emotional deep cut. The piano is such a constant during the album, not only for the sound but also in the lyrics. It becomes obvious Cuny has an emotional connection with the instrument. It’s almost heartbreaking that the last line of the album is “I love you,” knowing how the death of her father influenced this album.
Play and Rewind is not an easy or casual album. The album is filled with emotions, depression, and anxiety. While there are some songs out there, which you can turn off after a while because they become repetitive, you need to listen to every second of this album because they are all important and meaningful. The album has the potential to be a healing experience for many people who are grieving.