‘Tracks’ – Snowapple
Well, here we have, yet another addition, to the wonderful catalogue of recordings, by a totally original band – and I mean, totally creative, and original!
Snowapple are a group of multi-instrumentalists and singers from the Netherlands and Mexico. The original trio, from Amsterdam, but travelling widely, particularly in Mexico, well, they seem to have picked up/collected other like-minded diverse musicians, to help them continue like-minded a totally original sound palette. Yes, they do describe themselves as multi-genre, including pop/folk/opera/avante garde – which I agree, on paper, seems a little bit of an eclectic mix, and so you’re thinking, this could be a confused sort of sound? However, trust me, this is actually the opposite, as all their songs are pretty crystal clear in both music and words, and once heard, never forgotten, and that’s in a very, very good way! Each musician/singer bring their own influence, and musical creativity, to a big mix pot, then add a little of musical genius, and that’s the sound we have.
I came across them a few years ago now, when I obtained a copy of the album ‘Illusion’, which totally blew my auditory senses away. The creative ideas are so good, they’re pure genius, and I am certain there are many musicians out there who wished they had half the talent this group seem to have in massive amounts. The clarity of both their musical creations and vocal/instrumental performance, they are, well, just one word I guess – awesome!!
The rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic ideas flow so naturally, from one part of a song to another, taking us on a total journey of musical enlightenment. So, you can imagine when I had the chance to listen to this new album, I jumped at the opportunity to hear music from of the most, in my mind, and opinion, exciting bands producing original music today.
As you’ll probably notice, as you listen to each track, there are a lot of train/travel references in these songs, and as a travelling musician, I can certainly say, yes, I get the inspirational references. Obviously with 11 tracks on the recording, it would take a lot of writing and explanation, of every little, specific, musical idea here, so I am cutting the comments down to a minimum, as I believe you should get yourselves a copy, listen, then listen again, and decide, which are your favourites and why. However, I’ll try and write a few words and thoughts.
From this first track, you’ll discover, if you don’t know Snowapple already, a totally new soundworld, with half pop/folk, and a touch of musical theatre. The vocals here give you a great feeling – beautiful singing.
‘Choo Choo Train’
The rhythm of percussion puts you on the right track, so to speak, for this great train song. With its nice guitar, and piano work, mixed with the vocal delights, produces a feeling of contrapuntal excellence.
A guitar riff leads us into this track, with a repeated figure, as vocals enter, changing the character with impassioned lyrics, as guitar line returns again. There are points in this song where the vocals work such a magic on the listener, as the ‘a cappella’ feel of the song builds up to a complexity of power, before dying away on one vocal chord.
‘Going Coo Coo’
Some lovely guitar, bass and percussion at work here. as always, the balance between the instruments and vocal line are perfect. Is it a country/folk/blues song, whatever, it works!
‘’There’ Becomes ‘Here’
An absolute vocal delight, beautiful, sometimes gentle, and relaxed, at others, a latin feel.
Nice beat to this guitar led song – with another latin feel to it. Much interest is created with the wonderful introduction of the solo trumpet, which weaves its way in and out of the song. add to this a stunning flute solo over the top of the rhythmic beat is great too.
There is some amazing, inspired music created here, with slightly weird, unusual effects, an unusual mix of tones and timbre of instruments, whilst the beautiful vocal line makes the whole song such a strong and stunning piece of music. Notice the train reference again and listen to the lovely final bass note.
Wow, another amazing instrumental intro, the choice of textures never fails to impress. as in all their songs, a number of sections are contained in this song – really creative musical minds at work here.
The actual album has the symbol for ‘Pi’, but, alas, I’m a not a mathematician, so I’ve no idea how to find that on a computer, so hence, the full title! Anyway, this track is pretty upbeat, and rhythmic, with terrific lyrics delivered in a great way, that actually makes me smile – a little like ‘Facade’ by William Walton in a way, I suppose, so a miniature ‘Facade’ for 21st century maybe.
‘Going My Way’
Gentle guitar, with light percussion, led by beautiful vocal harmonies. Again, the trumpet adds a little central American feel, and the central section of this particular song is especially impressive.
‘Little Piggy Takes The Train’
The final track and yet again, we’re back to the train theme. What a fantastic atonal approach, I totally get the feeling of this piece of music.
So, there you have it, although a little brief, maybe, but as I always say, I’m not here to tell you anything, other than suggest you have a listen to yourselves, to an album from one of the most creative group of musicians I’ve heard in a very long while.