Tides Of Man
One of the great things about this ‘job’ is getting to constantly discover new things. I suppose it kind of comes with the territory, but it always surprises me what can come out of left field and suddenly inspire an article. It gives some perspective on how much we actually have yet to discover, and how many avenues are available to help us find/try new things (the internet is a beautiful thing).
This one came up due to a simple like/follow on Instagram. I am not sure that Tides of Man know what The 400 Project is all about, but generally when we get a new follower, I take some time to view their profile and follow back. Realizing that they were a band I thought I would check them out on Spotify, and since then I have not been able to turn off their 2014 album Young and Courageous.
The album is fully instrumental, so you won’t find any lyrics here. But somehow this doesn’t stop the band from working in an emotional connection to every song. Each track on this album has its own distinct personality, something I wouldn’t have thought possible without lyrics. Don’t believe me? Try listening to The Mountain House and Keep Me Safe back to back and then tell me you can’t hear it.
The genre feels mostly like the post-hardcore/emo/rock music that I have grown up with. I guess that means that this fits right into my musical wheelhouse, but regardless it felt like an all new experience. As someone who has a deep love of lyrics, I had never really embraced instrumental albums in the past. Young and Courageous changed that for me, opening up a whole new type of music I had previously written off (outside of loving film scores at least).
The album gives a better appreciation for what is possible with thoughtful composition of songs, and what that looks like as the albums focus. It takes a deep understanding of musical theory and how the instruments play off of one another to create album like this. Needless to say, Tides of Man know what they are doing.
Looking for more of this great sound I went through some of their older albums, and was surprised to find that their previous releases featured a lead singer. This added dynamic of vocals produced an entirely different sound that I was not expecting. Its actually really interesting to hear their pre-2010 music, and just how different it was. As I experienced the evolution of the band throughout their career, I found myself developing an even deeper respect for their move to an instrumental sound.
So why did they make the change to an instrument focus? Story goes that it started when their lead singer parted ways from the band. While searching for someone to fill the gap in their set, they began developing the instrumental tracks that would lead them to their Young and Courageous album. Building a new sound and working to understand their new dynamic to create a much different release.
The fact that, in the face of a huge change, the majority of the band stuck together and worked to find a new sound makes for an amazing story. They figured out an alternative way to showcase their talent, rather than letting it all fall apart. It shows a strength that, I believe, can be heard throughout the album (without the need for a lead singer to spell it out).
Beauty in sound can take many forms, and I am happy that Tides of Man found this one. I highly recommend checking out Young and Courageous to anyone looking to try something new. It is a thought provoking listen and a killer backdrop if you are working away on any day-to-day task – this is my current work soundtrack.