Have you ever heard a vocalist so good that you wished you were a better singer? Or, a guitarist that plays so smooth that you want to do nothing but lock yourself in a room and practice until your fingers bleed? Well, Anthony Aramouni’s debut EP Once In A While produces a similar effect in me. Not with the instrumentals, those were just unrelated examples. I’m talking about the vibrant production. So many layers and subtleties all contribute to such a raw and clean sound, one that I don’t hear often enough in most modern music, and definitely one that others should hope to recreate in their music.
Perhaps I should give a bit of history before prematurely eargasming about how great this thing sounds. Once In A While is the result of songwriter Anthony Aramouni partnering with a number of other independent musicians to help produce a five-song folk-rock EP to be released under his name. His vocal and rhythm guitar contributions are certainly present, but far from the best thing on this short record. The excellent mix, busy instrumentals, and overall songwriting are all highlights in their own respect. The moods that these tracks provide to the listener, as well as the ones these songs carry with them with each transition is something that’s just as beautiful. My personal favourite is the middle track “Brown Eyed Woman,” which carries an upbeat Sam Roberts sound to it, and shows off Aramouni’s diverse influences.
I’d even argue that the weakest performance on this record is Aramouni himself, or at least his vocals. They sound pretty sleepy, and sort of lull from one section of a song to the next without too much melodic change, making it hard to distinctly pick out a verse from a chorus, or any other song section if you’re not listening closely. Still, though, it’s pretty fitting to the music and the drifty mood that songs like “Land On The Fall” and “Under The Sun” provide, but the vocals are far from the most memorable thing on this EP.
All five songs featured on Once In A While provide a laid-back folk-rock vibe while still sounding interestingly different from track to track, and that’s what I love to see in an artist’s work. Take a handful of excellent songs, and add some rich sounding instruments that fit correctly on the musical soundscape like all the pieces of a puzzle coming together, and you’ve got one hell of an EP.
Written by Mathieu Perrier
*edited by Danielle Kenedy