One From Many – 29:11
Portland, Oregon’s One From Many, formerly known as FarCry, follows up their impressive debut LP The Alleged Album with a new EP release, 29:11, brimming over with enough emotional content for three full lengths. Born from the ashes of a failed marriage and other personal upheaval, vocalist Andrew Supina and his band mates have created a five song effort that isn’t so much of a collection as it is a journey. Grief and regret receive a wide airing, but there’s acceptance peering its way out of the gloom and it helps make this a fully rounded songwriting experience. One From Many embraces evocative, but never overwrought, production that gives surprising weight to their largely low-fi, acoustic-based sound. Big choruses and harmony vocals abound, but the overriding hallmark of the band’s music is an endlessly inventive melodic sensibility that makes even the EP’s lesser tunes essential listening.
The opening track “Like a Ghost” wafts into form with chiming acoustic guitars surrounding it in a light ambient swirl. It’s a chronicle of the abandonment and lingering disappointment of a broken father/son relationship that never entirely heals due to the father’s passing. Vocalist and lyricist Andrew Supina brings such a distinctive spin of language to the lyric that it mitigates any familiarity; instead, he uses common imagery to tell a deeply personal tale. “These Three Words” boasts the EP’s biggest chorus and obvious commercial leanings. While other songs might concentrate on atmospherics, an impressive melody and Supina’s powerhouse pipes carry the day here. It’s probably the EP’s most “upbeat” number, as well, in the sense that the narrator is urging a reticence lady to let down her defenses and allow herself to love again. The acoustic guitar work of Josh McCormick gives every song a definite shape and never loses its focus.
“Apology” is, perhaps, the EP’s most personal song, but One From Many have the good taste to redeem any inaccessibility with another compelling melody. Supina’s talent for vocal melodies brings an added weight to his words. The vocal melody for “Apology” lulls listeners in deeper and deeper as the song progresses and Supina’s light baritone voice simmers with controlled bluesy grit. “Promise Forever” is another heartfelt meditation on relationships of the heart and slowly moves with melodic, layered grace. The instrumentation is a highlight, but the song’s zenith comes with the harmony vocals between Supina and a second female vocalist. Their voices complement each other wonderfully. “Afterglow” ends the EP with a quiet, thoughtful backwards glance over many of the EP’s themes and even manages to find some of the aforementioned acceptance. It’s likely Supina’s best vocal on the album – his penchant for finding the nuanced corners of songs serves him well.
29:11, its title taken from the Book of Jeremiah in the Christian bible, has a decidedly softer slant than listeners might expect, but their intensity is undimmed. These are four artists interested in exploring and feeling more deeply connected to their music rather than just thrashing out brainless entertainment for appreciative audiences. We’re still early in the game for One From Many, but based on this, this is a band capable of going as far as they’d like.
9 out of 10 stars.