Ceremony Of Leaving

Former Lives

Snappy Little Numbers/Former Lives, 2022


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Former Lives is the brainchild of the very talented artist Sean Joseph Klassen, a Burlington, Vermont resident who showcases his love for analog synth, robust guitars and melodies you won't soon forget on this debut EP of six very memorable songs.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Alderson Loop” gets the listen off to a highly dreamy start, where a retro post-punk mood unfolds with very pretty backing vocals to complement the swift drums, bright synth and ethereal ambience. “Cordon Sanitaire” follows with a more punchy approach that swirls with hazy melodies amid the angelic vocals that are quite stirring in their comforting gestures.

Sandwiched in the middle is the atmospheric and intricate “Opportunity Dead On Mars,” which floats with a bit of mystery in the brief cinematic, instrumental appeal, while “Goodbye Nothing” gets much more upbeat with a snappy, New Wave-friendly climate that's quite exploratory and manipulates sound with no lack of electro-pop stabs, too.

“Dear In Headlights” is the final track, and quite possibly the best, using graceful piano and plenty of dream-pop ideas that unfold with a stream of harmonic cautiousness that benefits from more emphasis on drumming.

Klassen's interest in songwriting began after a traumatic brain injury, when music helped him sort through how his life was now going to be lived, and he's submerged himself in it in fascinating results.

He gets help from Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Menomena, Typhoon, Grails), Sabrina Velazquez Summers (Montclaire) and the vocalists Madison Fenton, Sarah Royal and Denitia Odigie. Together they make for a very unique meshing of indie-rock, dream-pop, New Wave, post-punk and post-rock that ends far too soon. 

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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