I am a firm believer that we all have the ability to create our own paths in life. A mixture of talent, confidence, hard work while continuing to treat people well will open many opportunities in life. Maintaining a sense of ownership and garnering an entrepreneurial type of spirit is not easy for most, but comes naturally to others. This is why I am drawn to the independent music scene. These bands are artists, marketers, sales people, and their own PR departments. They make music, tell everyone to come to their shows, build a pipeline of fans while hawking merchandise, and emailing fellow bloggers asking them to promote their new single. There are many more components to this madness, but these are just a few I want to point out to try and display some appreciation for the work that independent musicians do.
Brad Oberhofer’s release of his debut LP Time Capsules II this week is a story to highlight. Oberhofer migrated from his home in Tacoma, Washington out east to the mecca of independent music Brooklyn to intern at prestigious independent label Matador records. During his tenure of running errands and doing the dirty work that keeps these labels moving, Oberhofer created a demo and slipped it to the people in charge. The talent was noticed and the opportunity was seized. Oberhofer grabbed other available musicians to build sound to his life show and the rest is history. The best part of this story is that Oberhofer chose to name his band Oberhofer, which shows his ownership in his self-made brand.
After hearing the first few songs streaming online I was in fully engaged with the release of this record. Time Capsules II is fast, happy, and well thought out music that could not come at a better time of the year. It sounds like it is comfortable projecting off the walls of a dirty old garage. Oberhofer presents a Wavves like vibe while channeling lo-fi influence. This is a recipe that hardly ever disappoints for me and is recommended to anyone who smiles at a healthy dose of electric guitar.
Track, “Away Frm U” is an anthem. This song should be played for those needing a lift. Melodic notes introduce the song backed by a deep drum beat. Oberhofer screams, “You’re pushing me away from you and there is nothing I can do, and I can’t fight all your battles for you”. This is a strong statement that is supported by synthesizers and whistles for color. This track is made for those waiting for the wonderful independence that summer offers.
“Away Frm U”
I will endorse “oOoO” as my favorite track on the album. A mellow beginning turns into a standing-room-only chorus in a matter of seconds. Line, “And the city is feeling queer and crass with beer cans rolling in blades of grass to look like something new”, displays Oberhofers’ creative, relatable approach to his words. The delivery is simple, effective and motivating for listeners. This is a song that forces a smile while eliminating the mid season doubt. It’s a catalyst that has expedited my spirits when looking forward.
Oberhofer’s strong point is his ability to accept influences while remaining creative. This record is an extension of a segment of music that I believe a majority of readers of this blog enjoy. Oberhofer’s ability to make ‘Time Capsules II” possible should be noted. He is his own company and has me convinced to invest early.
Written by Brett McGrath