I'm Glad It's You - Every Sun, Every Moon (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

I'm Glad It's You

Every Sun, Every Moon (2020)

6131 Records

I'm Glad It's You suffered a big loss in 2017 when videographer/mentor/friend Chris Avis perished in a crash which the band walked away from unscathed. I was a huge fan of his CAVIS TAPES online platforms as he covered so many of the musicians I liked, which meant a lot being in the Caribbean. And after gradually regaining the confidence and fearlessness, the band has produced a fitting tribute in Every Sun, Every Moon.

The eulogy is a change of pace from the last record, obviously. That album is one which I thoroughly enjoyed as The Things I Never Say was the record I felt would put them on the map. And under 6131 Records I could see them spring-boarding big time with 2016 feeling like it was that time. But fate would deal them a cruel hand, only for guitarist/vocalist Kelly Bader to now spin it into an inspiring eulogy. It's one that honours his friend and spotlights Chris as a key member of the punk/indie community, from the Cali to Philly scene. And what I like most is it's totally a unique musical spine that's more pop than rock.

"Big Sound" feels familiar with that mix of Tigers Jaw and Joyce Manor, with tracks like "Ordinary Pain" homaging the past style too. But with piano-driven ballads like "Desert Days" it's clear Bader wanted something different and not a morose musical spine. Free Throw's last record on grief was aggressive, for example, but rather than adopt that approach or go for too slow a burn, the band takes on a more melodic, catchy vibe to counteract the painful lyrics. Bader admitted to me it's all about fiddling with duality of the tones as mortality is something you can get bogged down with creatively as a subject.

It also reflects Avis' persona and the love/bond they all shared -- fun times and unforgettable summer, breezy memories. Still, it is gut-wrenching when you soak in what the ballads like "Lost My Voice" and "Lazarus" signify. Calm words of wisdom and reassurance drenched in a whirlwind of emotions. Even the weird synth/hipster/Vampire Weekend feel to the title track or "Death is Close" is testament to this, not to mention the likes of "The Silver Cord" -- going on about how close we're tottering to death all the time but in a warm, comforting blanket. Bite in, because the album really is a beautiful soundscape: warm violins, keys that really make for a stripped down and vulnerable aura, and poetry that will definitely make you treasure those you love even more. If you watched Chris' videos for years like I did too -- whole sets, not just a couple performances -- it'll hit home even harder.