Into It. Over It.


Written by: TL on 19/11/2013 20:58:15

As former Damiera bassist Evan Weiss continues to prove with his solo project Into It. Over It, he is nothing if not consistent. In 2009 he released 52 songs about "52 weeks", in 2011 he released twelve songs about "Twelve Towns", last year he released his first album "Proper" (and yes, I'm sure the pun is intended) and this year, the Chicago based songwriter is back with another dozen songs from his busy touring life, the aptly titled "Intersections".

Don't let either me or the album title give you the impression that "Intersections" is an album about touring though, because despite Weiss' lyricism on this one striking me as a lot more cryptical and incoherent than I remember him, I think this album is on one hand more about illness and death - and on the other about how life away from your old connections can cause changes as you grow in a different direction from them. The former two I derive from "Favor & Fiction", in which Weiss finds somebody collapsed on the floor who had hidden an ailment from others and takes that person to the ICU, and one wonders if its connected to "No Amount Of Sounds", which is sets after the death of the narrator's mother. Half the time though, it's hard to piece together what the song's are about, and while "Obsessive Compulsive Distraction" seems apologetic for a deterioration in focus - "I'm always talking but I can't articulate a thing [...] I'm thinking simple but committing all my nights to ink", I get the feeling that a lot of the topics here are ones that Weiss simple isn't quite comfortable speaking as directly about, as the plain style of some of his past songs would require, hence instead coming out like errant streams of consciousness - As if the topics are more complex and weigh heavier on his mind than older, simpler songs about the relief of finishing a tricky song ("Brenham TX" from "Twelve Towns") or about an encounter with someone who behaves terribly ("Discretion And Depressing People" from "Proper").

The reason I go on about Weiss' words straight away is that his plainly relatable storytelling has previously helped me find footing in his emo/indie songwriter sound. At times twangy, at times mathy, mostly feeling acoustic although it rarely is, Into It. Over. It continues to sound more and more like a low key Death Cab For Cutie, with songs based around odd rhythms and curious guitar signatures that continue to betray Weiss' past in the experimental Damiera. His lyrics however, are sung with melodies and dynamics that feel like they're slaves to the directions of the playful guitar-playing, and as a consequence the musical movements often come off disconnected from the feelings addressed in the song, giving you little help with discerning their meaning.

So what I'm saying is that while Into It. Over It. still sounds like a mix of Death Cab and more underground emo-revival sensations like Everyone Everywhere (and while Weiss is among artists that have mused in public at "emo-revival" headlines, insisting that the genre never went away), the one thing that used to give you a chance to get into the songs - Weiss' lyrics - actually strike me as having become less accessible on this one. There are exceptions and those are highlights to me: Like "Spatial Exploration"; which vents frustration over the post-marriage life of a once-lover, "A Curse Worth Believing"; which seems to yearn for "Carol" after having had a fight with her, and "A Pair Of Matching Taxi Rides"; which tells enough of the story of (reluctantly?) following somebody who's forgotten their passport to the aiport to get you curious about finding out what happened.

I've followed Weiss all the way since "52 Weeks" however, and by now I'm starting to realise that our relationship is unlikely to ever become more than lukewarm. I love the original emo sound that permeates everything he's done so far, but I've consistently felt that his songwriting needed more time, and by now I think that's not really the problem. Because of the disconnect between the lyrics and the musical movements, it feels like Weiss is content to just blurt out his state of mind into words and music for its own sake, making the flow of his songs feel almost accidental. His records charm you with the warmth and tone of the sound, yet I have trouble recalling specifics from either of them, and I sense that this will be the case with "Intersections" as well. Simple verdict then: The sound is compelling but too homogenous, and the lyrics aren't good enough to make up for it.


Download: A Curse Worth Believing, Spatial Exploration, A Pair Of Matching Taxi Rides,
For The Fans Of: Death Cab For Cutie, Everyone Everywhere, Paper The Operator,

Release Date 24.09.2013
Triple Crown

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