Local Review: Stephan and the Pachyderm – Gasoline
Local Music Reviews
Stephan and the Pachyderm
Stephan and the Pachyderm = Death Cab for Cutie + Lord Huron
Salt Lake–based, ironic Americana duo Fur Foxen has been on the scene for some time, half of whom is composed of Stephan Darland. With the EP Gasoline, Darland strikes out on his own, offering some mellow, bluesy “flannel & snowfall” folk. With the support of Todd Johnson of Vincent Draper and The Culls/Hectic Hobo on drums and backup guitars by Nolan Noska of Perp Transit, Darland gives us a small glimpse into his solo skill set.
Gasoline opens with the self-titled tune, a slow, simmering and sad track with skilled electric guitar and jazzy percussion. Darland’s soundscape is bedroom-y and simple, with a quiet, somber dignity and a dash of bittersweet contemplation. “Must Be Nice” is a pleasing example of the sad/hopeful tonal tension of this short 4-track collection.
“Perish” provides a sudden and more upbeat feel while maintaining the melancholia of the EP as a whole. This track is especially sweet and accepting, acknowledging the dissonance of letting go and resisting, and is perhaps the strongest of the set.
“Want That Weight” is yet another ember of solemnity and an all-too-human entreaty for time to delay an impending end. Throughout the track, a gentle desperation presses through alongside tender moments of acknowledging the falsehood of artificially extending love for the purpose of avoiding pain and change. Although not an especially catchy tune, this track is a lovely and brief model for the struggle of snuffing out a flickering and withering flame.
Gasoline is a pleasing and simple collection and a soothing sonic panacea for an aching heart on a cold and snowy winter night. –Paige Zuckerman
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