There was a time back there where honest heart fledging emo was the thing to be. For those unaware or under the age of twelve, emo is essentially pop/rock with more (or for some, less) sensibility. The Spill Canvas stepped into the foray with their mixture of harmonic pop melodies and sometimes cringingly self-aware lyrics. The group’s debut album “Go For the Jugular,” hardly made a splash, but the group followed through with “Sunsets and Car Crashes” which featured the acoustic emo/rock track “The Tide” which could be seen as the anthem of perfect definitive modern emo approaches.
When the Spill Canvas went on a hiatus in early 2011, fans were not exactly sure how long the band would stay away. It wouldn’t be unthinkable to think the group parted ways for an extended period of time. For a group at their level of popularity (a la fringe top 40) you either break in or fade. So it was relatively surprising when the Spill Canvas showed some activity in mid-2011, just a mere couple months after their hiatus announcement. Even more interestingly, the group releases their next full-length album Gestalt” May 22 2012. Though the group have only formally been on hiatus a few months (which isn’t really worthy of an announcement in itself) “Gestalt” marks their first full-length album since 2007’s No really, I’m Fine” which held their most popular single “All Over You” which was a modest success for some time there.
The Spill Canvas have evolved musically, but also, well, personally. The group has shed ties with their major sub-label Sire Records, and are now free to explore the constantly evolving musical climate. Whether they sit down with an independent label for distribution for the future, or they go wholly independent, which is a terrifically daunting task on its own, remains to be seen.
But their musical path is alarmingly post-modern. They are moved on from their major label, as the major label behemoth uses and abuses artists almost methodically. They take a brief break to collect themselves, then enter into a whole new phase where the once major label group fluster about in the world of independent music. It’s a remarkable testament to their ambition as an entity to resurface after a chart-topping record to pursue music. Their motivation may be more for the fans, or financial, or a love for music, but the fact that they are back at all is proof of the changing climate of the musical world- you can use them, but the music and the motivation of true quality musicians stands for something else entirely.
Check out “Gestalt” May 22, and view the group’s website for guaranteed updates- from the group themselves. No matter the path, the musical hooks and the melodically-infused emo/pop stands the test of time as heart-warming, classy, and fun. But we can be comfortable knowing that the group are only being themselves, and nothing more, an honesty music needs just a little bit more of.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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