Gnash, Born of Osiris, and Mree
Perhaps my memory has deceived me. It seems past years have started off with far more releases that made selecting featured albums a more difficult decision. Last week was underwhelming and this week started that way until I came across albums by Gnash, Born of Osiris, and Mree. The honorable mention this week is Taking Back Sunday’s Twenty. It doesn’t feel right featuring that album, though, since it’s a greatest hits album (plus two new songs).
Haven’t heard of Gnash before? Me neither, but that’s likely because all three of his previous works (U, Me, and Us) have been EP’s that date all the way back to 2015. Continuing the naming convention, We is his debut album. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Perhaps you’re far more musically savvy than I and you recognized his name from his 2016 Top 10 single, I Hate U, I Love U (featuring Olivia O’Brien). If so, then you probably already knew that it was nominated the best breakup song at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. See how cutting edge I am now? [insert eyeroll or guffaw here] Vocally and musically he reminds me of a mash-up of Eminem and Sublime minus the ska.
Gnash on YouTube
Gnash on Spotify
Born of Osiris: The Simulation
Moving to the other side of the spectrum, we have Born of Osiris’ The Simulation. If you’re unfamiliar with Born of Osiris, they’re a progressive metalcore band from the Chicago-land area. The Simulation is their seventh full-length album (although Google Play says it a “mini-LP”). I’m not sure what distinction it uses to classify it as a mini-LP rather than an EP. Perhaps it’s because there are eight tracks, but the run time is only 25:40? Regardless, neither the track numbers nor the run time detract from a solid album. The instrumentation is technically precise and engaging. Lead vocalist, Ronnie Canizaro , and the keyboardist/vocalist, Joe Buras split singing duties. This provides the band with the dual clean and scream vocals that seem to be popular lately. The remind me of a harder edged Dream Theater.
Born of Osiris on YouTube
Born of Osiris on Spotify
Mree: The Middle
Let’s take another musical turn. Singer-songwriter Marie Hsiao, known as Mree, just released The Middle. This five-song EP is a slice of vocal elegance. At times she’s breathy and at other times plaintive. Sometimes Mree’s voice feels lost in the instrumentation before sneaking close to punch you in the heart. She has a Loreena McKennitt vocal quality without the Celtic tinge.
Mree on YouTube
Mree on Spotify