While there has been a complete drop-in live music, the supply of recorded music since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out has actually increased. It is kind of cool to think that so many musicians decided to use the time in lock-down to work on new music, using makeshift home studio setups. There are also many people, some of whom I know personally, who flirted with the idea of writing their own music and using tools such as Ableton and other DAWs, trackers, and sequencers to begin learning music composition and production.
It got me thinking about how rough it’s been for record-makers in the digital age, where DSPs take most of their earnings, or there just aren’t enough people purchasing music. This was especially the case before platforms like Apple Music and Spotify really took off and managed to sell people again on the idea of paying for the music. Despite the issues, there is still so much appreciation and curiosity around music recording and now that the tools are literally in arm’s reach, I don’t think recording as an art-form is going away any time soon. Though I’m curious to see what will happen in the future, as more artists speak out about splitting revenues more fairly, and as the technology continues to affect consumer behavior.
Brent Beamer, whose bio reads: “Artist. Creator. Free Thinker. Volume. Experience. Empathy. Emotion.” is really turning inwards on his new track, “Let it Burn.” Deciding to work on some music during self-isolation, he has managed to merge together the avant-garde’ vocal qualities of Captain Beefheart with the amateurish charm of The Shaggs. It’s like hearing a cat wheezing, but feeling a sense of relief that it’s even there. I mean, these are the sort of sounds you might hear in a garage where a group of junior-high-schoolers gets together in the evenings to hack away at their instruments without too many rules or any sense of pretentiousness.
“Let it Burn” sounds like it was recorded out in a shed, and we think that’s pretty punk-rock. This is the sound of a hermit who’s been out in the woods for a good part of a decade, gathering various objects he can bang away on to pass the time. The guitar is the real star in Beamer’s arsenal, sounding like it’s coming out of a 15-watt, 10-inch Peavey speaker, with only a clean tone available to him and maybe some short delay. The guitar line shows that Beamer’s got a good sense of melody. The distortion guitar which kicks in after the instrumental breakdown provides a nice contrast to the main section. The guitar and the vocals sound like they were recorded on an old Tascam 4-track, bringing to mind the heyday of lo-fi captured on records like Love Tara by Eric’s Trip. Overall, I’d give “Let it Burn” three generous helpings of hamburger helper!