The word “bliss” is one that I have personally thrown around many times whenever I heavily connect the welcoming embrace of fond, long-lasting memories with the simplicities of finding internal peace. Whether it may involve scenarios of which I’d find myself clinging onto a song esthetically and musically to complement the mood as I watch the sun fall from the sky on a long, but fulfilling commute back home—or even when I reflect back on a star-lit night with my friends as we looked up at the stars. Like philosophers who genuinely gaze upon at the world around them, when you experience your own personal bliss, you almost feel as if you’re invincible—even if you have the odds stacked up against you within that moment.
With this profound ideology fixated in the back of my mind on a day-to-day basis, I’ve been able to easily associate the significance of finding bliss from any instantaneous moment by immediately relating to a specific song or a band as a whole from the very beginning. While A Will Away’s latest artistic endeavor is also cleverly titled Bliss, there is no question that the title itself perfectly walks hand in hand with the overall theme of this record.
Lingering upon a sound that draws influences from elements of melodic pop and the nostalgically heartfelt esthetics of the early 2000s Emo movement, this Connecticut-based alternative outlet have clearly honed a style that is completely their own, while collaboratively embracing the impact of their precursor influences.
Elegantly teaming up with producer Gary Cioffi, who has previously worked with contemporary pop punk heroes like Transit and Four Year Strong, you can clearly hear the influence of Cioffi’s production expertise come to life, especially within the album’s opening number, “Play Dead.” As this song immediately clicked in my head with identical parallels to Transit’s Listen & Forgive, the more you dive deeper into this record, you’ll instantly find yourself fixated with the atmospherically keen musicianship of vocalist Matt Carlson in stand-alone tracks like “My Sitter” and “Cheap Wine.” After sinking in Carlson’s lines, “I’m not going anywhere,” in “My Sitter,” your heart will skip a beat as the upbeat and transcending melodies of this song will bring you back to a serene time in your life where life simply began to make the most sense.
I’ve personally found myself fixated with musicians who are derivative toward melodic esthetics simply because of the fact that the heart and passion a band can beautifully convey through their songwriting abilities can be easily identified with their sincere enthusiasm to share their art with anyone who is just as eager and willing to listen. For a group like A Will Away, there is no question that Bliss embodies these naturally enlightening characteristics, as the band truly reached their own bliss themselves by successfully finding an artistic direction that they were extremely satisfied with since day one.
One cannot attain bliss without giving themselves room to grow with each new experience life solemnly throws at them. With that being said, Bliss is a truly a breath of fresh air that will you provide you with a resurging spark of clarity to embrace every single opportunity to live in the moment as much as you can.
In A Word: Serene