Self exploration through music
Jean-Sébastien Audet of Calgary, Alberta, creating music under the stage name Yves Jarvis, recently released his latest album, Sundry Rock Song Stock. Jarvis communicates a very personal album, one that acknowledges his personal growth and aims to represent and reveal his essence of being. Through his individual manipulation of instrumentals and sounds that are recognizable and associated with one’s everyday life, Jarvis creates an anomalous and impressive collection of intimate music.
When experiencing Sundry Rock Song Stock, one will be flooded with a sense of familiarity. Jarvis uses sounds that occur and are not normally associated with music, and he blends these sounds seamlessly with classic instrumentals and guitar moments. On the surface, Jarvis seems like a calm individual. As with every human being, however, he is not as calm as the public eye would assume, and this theme is reflected in each track.
Each song starts out bright and calming. The listener begins to settle into the music, feeling relaxed and comfortable. This serene feeling, however, does not last throughout the song. Each song then begins to change, the harmonious tune becoming melancholy, pure notes changing tune, and beginning to sound eerie and controlled beats becoming jagged. The result is music that takes one out of that comfort zone and becomes unsettling, causing the listener some discomfort. These undertones of aggression allude to the buried anger that Jarvis carries.
The tracks “Epitome,” “In Every Mountain” and “Emblem” are prime examples of this theme. “Emerald” joins them with soft vocals winging of beautiful gems, soon interrupted by a disturbing minor violin feature. The fashion in which Jarvis uses vocals is also to be appreciated. Songs such as “For Props,” “Victim,” “Fact Almighty” and “Semula” are more inclined towards vocal features. In these tracks, vocals overlap with one another, synchronous at times but not always. They are soft and relaxed, and to be focused on in order to understand what Jarvis is trying to express. “Victim” speaks on the aggression that he feels he buries, and how he is a victim of this. “Semula” sings of judgment that everyone is susceptible to but that no one asks for or wishes to experience.
“Notch In Your Belt” and “Ambrosia” are tracks that heavily feature the previously mentioned everyday sounds. “Notch In Your Belt” seems to feature softened sounds of city life, and if listened to carefully, one may hear the crinkle of a bag picked up at a deli in a rush on the way to the office, sounds of screeching buses dropping of its hurried passengers and steam pooling off freshly cooked food from a food truck. “Ambrosia” plays with popping, video-game-like sounds, ending in thundering percussion.
Through attempting to discover himself, Jarvis creates an album that allows the listener to deeply ponder what each track may be trying to say. Different listeners will have drastically different interpretations, despite the personal nature of it. Sundry Rock Song Stock does for the listener what it does for the author himself—it allows for discovery and self-reflection, and perhaps generates a new perspective on music and what can be used to create it and inspire it.