Asbury is a music project from the mind of David Franklin, who creates mysterious and haunting songs that range from lo-fi instrumentation to more layered and intricately crafted music. “Distance is the Difference” opens the album with sounds reminiscent of a city playground and goes into whispered vocals and quiet instruments that include tinkling xylophones. It goes into more familiar guitar and repeated choruses as the song progresses, though it continues to capture the listener’s attention as it returns to its opening noises of laughter.
“Designs” opens with a simple piano riff and various brass instruments accompanying it. It has a very Parisian feel, with the French female voice and the trumpets and French horns playing in the background. The piano remains a key instrument throughout the song, which ends with a piano melody. “Covered in Acrylic” is initially very lo-fi with a fast beat accompanied by staccato guitar riffs and shakers. Then it slows down a little and allows more focus on the vocals, which are similar to bands such as Grandaddy.
“He’s Gone Fetal” provides more background noises from old TV shows, while telling the story of an older man having night terrors. “Who Turned up the Voltage!?” is an eerie sounding folk song with echoing background vocals. “Breathing” is an instrumental based on piano, with various sound effects thrown in, sounding like it would fit well on a Badly Drawn Boy album. “Whatever You Got” begins with lyrics about seeing a doctor and is backed by acoustic guitar, then builds up to piano and more guitars layered with vocals about needing water.
“Faking Nice” opens with a simple acoustic guitar and light vocals about lying to friends who backtalk. It’s a very simple but effective song, where the nice sounding music contrasts with the somewhat frustrated lyrics. “A Dancer’s Husband (My Major Faults)” is a call and response song, with the words “now I know” repeated by a chorus of voices. “Where Would We Be Without Cruelty?” begins with a tinkling piano and goes into light drums, while a news broadcast reads headlines from current events and then builds to more spaced-out sound effects.
“City” closes the album on a sad note, discussing dreams that are dying and the city being a “granite dungeon.” The lyrics overall tend to be very cynical, with the music providing an atmosphere of sadness. Under the… isn’t a totally depressing album, but it rarely gets uplifting. Starting with the opening track, you get the feel of a downbeat tone that trudges in more minor keys than major ones. This album is worth listening to for fans of lo-fi indie bands such as Grandaddy or Badly Drawn Boy.
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