Tag Archives: mellow

Chakobsa – “Energy Dispersal”

Most people will argue that music is an experience. Our favourite songs are those that mean something to us, and we can usually argue that listening to our favourite albums involves more than just listening. Energy Dispersal, the second full-length album from Calgary’s Chakobsa, is entirely different than anything else out there right now, and with powerful tracks and an unforgettable sound the album will completely blow you away.

Released in March 2012, Energy Dispersal is one of the coolest albums to come out this year. It doesn’t fit into any particular category or traditional genre, and this might be what makes it such a unique and meaningful experience. It’s a weird combination of sounds: somehow both heavy and mellow, it takes on dark and moody elements while also showing off some singable melodies and quicker bass lines. Chakobsa experiments with different sounds and devices, bringing forward a grungy alt-doom-blues-rock sound that is not quite like anyone else, yet still familiar and mainstream. Think of a strange combination of Tool, Alice in Chains, Muddy Waters, The Doors and Faith No More. This isn’t easy to do, but Chakobsa pulls it off, and does so very well.

There are some obvious song-writing and musical talents on this album. The most obvious talent lies in their ability to harmonize vocally. Take “A Constant With Variable Values”, for example: the vocal harmonies here take an incredible ear and lot of skill, and it really is amazing they’re able to keep this up while maintaining strong instrumental abilities and actual intelligent lyrics. Most of the tracks have similar features: slower tempos, strong harmonies, heavy bass and emphasis on minor key signatures, a combination that leads to an emotional connection and the comparison to bands like Tool (“To The Visage”).

Chakobsa was born in the late ’90s and after some mixing and growing they’re stronger than ever. They have incredible balance and chemistry and are definitely a band to check out. Check out the band’s website and Facebook for more information, preview and buy Energy Dispersal on iTunes or CD Baby, and definitely get out to a live show! And if you’re unsure, the band does give clear instructions on pronouncing their name: “cha-KOB-sa. The ‘O’ is like ‘hole’ – not ‘hot'”. Get used to saying it; Energy Dispersal is the first step in Chakobsa’s rise to the top, and with uniqueness on their side and talent all around them, they’re out to create an unforgettable experience.

Chakobsa - "Energy Dispersal"

Josef Pollock – “Fears”

Many people argue that mainstream music often sounds the same, so when something different (and good) comes out, it’s a pretty big deal. “Fears“, a five-track EP from new artist Josef Pollock, is a perfect example of what new music should be.

This isn’t the type of music you’d listen to if you’re looking to get pumped up for a fight or the big game, but that’s not the point. Josef’s songs are soothing, smooth, and gratifying, and listening to “Fears” is the perfect way to calm down after a hard day. It is an album that fills a certain need, best listened to and admired when feeling mellow, and will easily put you in a state of dreamlike tranquility.

The EP is a mixture of both slow and upbeat tunes, and is a perfect balance of Josef’s finest qualities. There’s something about Josef Pollock I love, whether it’s his voice, the melodies, or the gentle acoustic guitar. His sound is similar to that of another southern Ontario band, Great Lake Swimmers, as well as other fantastic artists Bon Iver and Matt Costa, all well-known for exceptional songwriting and understated but immense talent. Josef’s singing is beautiful – he has a gorgeous voice that lends itself perfectly to each of his songs, and regardless of the tempo or key, he nails it perfectly. This is what makes the album so easy to listen to, and so seemingly effortless that it’s almost surprising to remember that Josef Pollock is new on the music scene.

Josef Pollock is the brainchild and pseudonym of Isaac Vallentin, an Ontario musician who is already making big waves. He has already played alongside several great acts, including Shotgun Jimmie, Daniel Romano (of Attack in Black), and One Hundred Dollars, as well as Baby Eagle (Steve Lambke of Constantines). His resume is impressive, but given his talent and love of music, it is not at all surprising.

The most catchy song on the album is the second track, “What You Own”, which is one of the faster-paced and more singable of his songs. The singing contributions of Beverly Fairmont harmonize perfectly with Josef’s own soft voice, making even a lyricless chorus memorable and catchy. I could (and do) listen to this song on repeat for hours, and my usual lack of attention span moves aside to let me love it.

Each of the other four tracks are equally enjoyable. He shows depth and talent in both music and lyrics, and with a few more songs and a bit more diversity to fill a full-length album, Josef Pollock will take the music world by storm. In the meantime, “Fears” deserves to be loved. Buy or download his album here (free, if you want it to be!), and definitely show your appreciation for his music by attending the official CD release show on July 21 at The Mansion House in St. Catharines.

Josef Pollock is going places. He is continually playing shows across the Niagara Region and southern Ontario, “wholeheartedly loving every second of it”, and by discovering his music, you will love him, too.

Josef Pollock - "Fears"