We Are Temporary - Crossing Over
If you're a loyal reader on Brutal then you probably have heard the name We Are Temporary before as we premiered their remix of Empathy Test's 'Here Is The Place' a little more than a year ago. But just in case you haven't looked into the project at all, let me give you a short, sweet, and simple history lesson.
We Are Temporary is an electronic solo project of Brooklyn, New York based musician Mark Roberts. While at first he was signed to the record label Stars & Letters where he released two EPs, a single, and their debut album Crossing Over. The record label was put on hold indefinitely back in July but that would not be much of a problem considering Roberts would eventually get his project signed to Trisol Music Group who represents some of the scene's biggest projects such as Project Pitchfork and Nachtmahr. And with that signing came another wave of attention to their debut album which I'm here to discuss.
The first two tracks on the album 'Appalachian Trail' and 'Who's Going To Love Me Now?' showcased We Are Temporary's amazing dreampop inspired electronics. The sound is crisp and clear and could compete with more renown artists within the field. However, what they did completely wrong came vocally. 'Appalachian Trail' had vocals that were much too autotuned and that just stood out to me as a blight considering in later songs Roberts proves himself to have a very handsome voice. I understood just by the title of 'Who's Going To Love Me Now?' that it's supposed to be an emotional song that shows We Are Temporary's more vulnerable area, but his voice during the chorus goes from deep to high pitches kind of like a kid still going through puberty.
However, that's where the bad ends and the good begins. 'You Can Now Let Go' features some big, heavy beats that once again showcases Roberts' attention to production values. It's also on this song where we're able to hear Roberts' vocals in their natural talent; deep, powerful, and emotional. This is exactly the breakthrough I was waiting for since the album started.
The next song featured guest vocalist Sarah Ann Kelleher of the minimal electronics/dreampop outfit Misfit Mod. It was an unexpected surprise on the album whose calm demeanor and ghostly, ambient textures in the background complimented Kelleher's soothing voice. 'Calling Home' was a fun little dance track though I was really questioning the man-bird like noises that was sampled throughout the album. It sounded like an adult male doing a horrible impersonation of a pterodactyl. However, looking past that quirk the song was very well off.
'Innocence' moved in a slow manner with a focus on simplicity; synths and waving atmospheric noises took the song over. 'Remember Our Light' started off very, very minimal but came out blasting with a wall of synths around the two-minute mark. 'Give Me More' was a darker track with post-punk influences combined within the track. Utilizing elements of IDM as well as a low, rumbling rhythm 'Prism' brought out more charm from the album. The last song on the album 'Let's Fall Silent' brought some acoustic instruments alongside charming sounds of the night and was a well deserved finish for the album.
Despite the hiccup the album suffered with the first two songs Crossing Over managed to pick up the broken pieces and put together a damned fine album. I think the strongest section of the album came through with 'You Can Now Let Go', 'Machine Love', and 'Calling Home'. Considering those three tracks are grouped together one after another, you have some solid listening to go through. With such tight production values and attention to detail, I'm excited to see where We Are Temporary will be headed next.
Sep 14 2016
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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