Ten Cent Days – Ten Dollar Album

Ten Cent Days recently released their first offering, a record titled Ten Dollar Album.  Having followed the evolution of the majority of the music on this album by venturing forth to various local venues over the past year or two in order to regularly to enjoy the obvious potential of this album’s creative director, Caleb Banas, I thought I was in a reasonable position to take a stab at a decent review of the album after the band recently requested this through various social media websites.  After spending a bit of time contemplating the matter at hand and making many revisions while attempting to put to the written word exactly how music that makes me feel and think makes me feel and think, I came away with a new appreciation of just how difficult of a task it is to stay concise, clear, and meaningful…hats off to lyricists everywhere!  Oh, brevity truly is the soul of wit…now, to mediate between the band and you, constant reader…with shorter, tighter, and more concise verbiage…

What is a Ten Cent Days, you may wonder?  Ten Cent Days is self described as a ‘flea market’ of musicians who each have an ‘eclectic style with a dirty old-timey twist’ and interestingly Victorian-era inspired garb…they are also percussion, various stringed instruments, melodica, bass, various guitars, and a lot of singing!  They are typically of an acoustic mindset, although a small handful of heavier numbers incorporate a little fuzz into the mix.  Haunting, dark, desolate, complex, beautiful, joyous…Ten Cent Days are all of these things and more.  Unfortunately I have no personal experience with other bands that may provide a frame of reference for you to easily hook into, so I must do with this incomplete description: while the basic melody of the acoustic folk music is fundamentally straightforward, the complex layering of instrumentation and vocal harmonies creates a rather unique sum that only rarely delves into any kind of conventional rock or pop sensibility.

Ten Dollar Album opens with a rather dark number titled “October”, and closes with a rather dark number titled “Country Folk Death Song”, somber and slightly irreverent, respectively.  In between, songs internally swing from downtempo dirges describing utter dejection that seamlessly transition to uptempo and remarkably beautiful rejections of suffering.  The transmutation is a joy to behold, and it is a process that repeats within many of the songs.  This is certainly not homogeneous and commoditized modern pop or rock!

Across the album, the songs are nearly universally a cathartic release of the lyricist’s personal turmoil.  As with all great art, there is more than enough room internally for the music, the tone, and meaning to be instantly relatable.  This is no simple task considering how intensely personal the moments are that have been condensed and distilled.  Combining the relatable lyrics and tone with the band’s deft interplay of melody and harmony quickly hooks the listener, allowing one to listen past discomfort until they’re faced with the bare and honest truth of the recorded experience.

Only got a minute, and need an instantly accessible song?  Try Only in Theory.  Appetite whetted and want something more complex to sink your teeth into?  Try Black Marbles.  Ready for a deep and beautiful musical foray that explores what it means to be human?  Put on your listening ears along with the best pair of headphones you can track down, and try Flowers for Rick.

I’d highly recommend Ten Dollar Album to anyone whose taste for music runs deeper than the Top 40.  This may not the most immediately enjoyable record that you will come across this year as it is quite often very dark and intensely personal…but after allowing the album a place to live and grow in your heart, you will find the songs are timeless and that you’ll soon be coming back for repeated listenings.

This listener is personally quite interested in what the future holds for Ten Cent Days!

Find Ten Cent Days…

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tencentdays

On ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/tencentdays

Stream and buy Ten Dollar Album on BandCamp:  http://tencentdays.bandcamp.com/

No Responses

Note that comments are displayed in reverse chronological order with topmost comments being freshest. Subscribe | Comment

Leave a Reply