Review: Gypsy Death and You – e.p. no. 1

Well, it showed up today. I’ve ordered and won literally hundreds of CDs over the last month. Far and away, this has been the most anticipated one. I have, in my hands, the first EP from Gypsy Death and You. That’s THE BAND–not the song by The Kills.

This is why I’m a big fan of sites like Feed the Muse and Kickstarter. These guys *need* a site like that, if they don’t already have one. If they do, I’m not aware of it, but a search of both those sites reveals nothing, so … hmm.

First off, a big thanks to the band for sending this. I couldn’t imagine working or communicating with a nicer couple.

Gypsy Death and You are Alex Wilson and Emily Cahill. They’re from the Philadelphia area. If they’re any indication of the music scene in Philly, then the City of Brotherly Love is in most excellent musical hands.

The overall sound is amazing,–very raw and un-refined. I consider this to be a beautiful, beautiful thing. Here’s why.

What you hear is what you get. This music is precisely what you would hear if they decided to drop by and perform an impromptu concert in your front yard. It sounds like there is very little, if any, processing or “cleansing.” It’s real. There’s nothing other than the instruments and the band. In baking, raw, unrefined sugar is preferred to processed, white, refined sugar. Unrefined sugar has nutritional properties that are flat-out missing in refined sugars. Processed sugar is useless. I feel the same would be true if GDaY were to run their sound through a bunch of “refinement.” Their energy comes through with all the nuance and precision of a seasoned band, yet this is just their first EP. They’re not bogged down with all the baggage of someone like Bob Rock mucking up their sound (think what Metallica *could* have been if he hadn’t produced the black album. I’m just saying.)

The only exception to this is the beginning of “Capitol Jump,” where the intro is this wonderfully cacophonous noise barrage, filled with pounding drums, raging guitars, and a mix that leaves you shocked when they move beyond. They grab you with this infectious “Ah-ah-ah-ahhhh-ahhhh …” I like. A lot. Then we’re treated to the only song on the EP where Alex performs the primary vocals. On ReverbNation, they’ve uploaded a new version that has a more harmonic intro. Personally, I like the original! At least, I think that’s the original intro. Actually, I don’t know which is new version. Guess I should find out!

UPDATE: Boy was I wrong. I had it backwards. The ReverbNation version is the original. The one on the EP is the newer version. So, to be clear, prefer the newer, love the older. Capiche?

“Smile” has a very 80’s sounding, Molly Ringwald flavor to it. Odd, cuz as far as I know, she has never released a CD in her life. I don’t know if it’s Emily’s vocals or what, but the first thing I thought of when I heard this song was “Pretty in Pink.” I have no idea why. And it’s catchy. “A smile on you is a smile on me.”

The thing I like about “Sound of the Sun” is the tempo. For some reason, this strikes me as a very Lush sound to the music with a Kim Deal (though muffled through the distortion of the guitars) quality to the vocals, all the while maintaining their own sound.

If you’re a fan of The Jesus and Mary Chain, you’ll love their cover of “Something I Can’t Have.” It sounds like they’ve taken it up an octave to play to Emily’s vocal strengths, and it comes off with an awesome vibe.

In a nutshell, I *highly* recommend finding a way to pick up their CD. They’re good, they’re talented, they have more going on upstairs than most bands. They’re young, they’re inspired, and they have the potential to be around for long, long time.

There is just one small, tiny little nagging issue: the lack of availability. These guys deserve to have their music dispersed through some place like iTunes or Amazon … somewhere. They should be getting paid for their music. I don’t want to see them become another “flash in the pan,” you know?! They sent me the CD on their dime, even though I requested a PayPal address to help fund them. Were they to put their music on iTunes, I would buy it just to support them because they deserve it.

Emily, Alex … if you’re reading this, ya gotta get this out there. You are not just some other band. Your music is danceable. It’s at once up-beat and introspective. This has stratospheric potential. I’m begging you … do not quit. Do not give up. Put it on iTunes! Why not?! I can almost guarantee you you’ll have at least a favorable reviews.

Again, I want to thank these guys for the CD. I’m glad to have it, and I can’t wait to hear what else these guys come up with.

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