By Lukas Foote
tach·y·car·di·a. (takiˈkärdēƧ) noun 1. An abnormally rapid heart rate. The definition could also be used to describe my feelings when I first listened to Opeongo’s Tachycardia EP.
The albums cover for Tachycardia as Keegan Trumpour (Opeongo) puts it “A wonderful camera malfunction”. The picture depicts what appears to be a light malfunction from his film camera. The EP cover depicts bright, vibrant yellow lights trailing all over the place in a wavy, distinct, intriguing pattern. Keegan’s favourite photographs are the “fuck ups” that at the same time he finds beautiful. Although Keegan can’t recall what the original photograph for the EP cover was supposed to be behind the light malfunction; he is one for demeaning his own work in a modest, humble way. He may write off his photographs as beautiful errors and his own music as “A bunch of random tunes thrown together”, but there is no denying the unique, distinctive vocals and musical ability that Keegan Trumpour freshly presents in an independent artistic way.
Every song on this 10 track EP is a tale/story, with disheartening and lonesome lyrics. What’s distinctive about Tachycardia that makes it stand out from other sappy or disheartening band releases is that, to the listener, we feel the same level of distress and hopelessness that Opeongo presents in his music. An example of this would be in such tracks like Be My (Sophia Ryde), which gives a great insight into some personal sorrow. “And if this world inhales my achin’ heart/And if I end up as nothing more than bone and soil/If I get on stage and I can’t seem to start/Could you ease my nerves?/Darling, would you still be loyal?”. Or the intro track to the EP Let Fall, a song about how one hopes that a noose around their neck will catch them as they let go of their two conflicting identities.
Another thing really artistic on Tachycardia I liked was the use of the harmonica on tracks like TAKE, Alackadaydream, and hopeless. I always thought of the harmonica as the number one Dad instrument in a jam band with the other Dads from the factory; all wearing white new balances, ill-fitting khaki’s and leather jackets. But I digress. Opeongo restores my faith in the good ol’ mouth organ the way he expands the oldfatherly instrument to fit the whole lo-fi, depressing feeling EP.
Opeongo’s Tachycardia EP has some lo fidelity in it for the most part. Yet it is jam-packed with some good old-fashioned finger pickin’ which gives off a very country-folk vibe, yet still remaining experimental and euphoric, it’s quite the release from Midland, Ontario. It’s hard to compare Opeongo with other bands because truthfully, Opeongo separates himself from the mainstream. I could list a couple of genres that Opeongo falls into; folk, experimental, indie; but Keegan manages to combine and capture everything into one tentative cooking pot branded Tachycardia. It is as if Opeongo is not concerned in limiting himself to one genre and I look forward to these “rough, raw, nothing concrete” recordings being one day concrete and on a full length in the near future.
For Fans Of:
Tasseomancy, Timber Timbre, Perfume Genius
Nice, Nice, NOICE!