The Written Years: ‘The Written Years’

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I recently got a sneak peak (or listen, rather) at The Written Years’ self-titled debut album set to be released on January 28th. With a sound that lands somewhere between Snow Patrol and The National with a hint of Bright Eyes, The Written Years is an album with an infectious sound. The self-titled project tackles themes like nostalgia, loss, and belonging with melodic guitar hooks, honest lyrics, and melancholy vocal vibes.

When I listen to a new album, I generally like to listen to it all the way through in the order that the artist intended. While it’s certainly refreshing to hear an album like this that flows together as a whole, there’s no denying that we live in the age of the single. A time where the album is not often consumed as one dish but received in any number of combinations and doses. While this shuffle psychology tends to isolate one song from the album as a whole, it can also provide the listener with new perspective by connecting tracks that would otherwise be separated by several songs. After listening to the album both in order as well as in a sort of shuffle, I’m convinced that the album’s themes shine through no matter what. This album seems to enter into conversation with this idea as it not only glides from one song to the next, but also contains muddled conversations in “It’s Not Your Fault” and disjointed sounds similar to a scanning radio transmission in “You’re Too Kind.”

It’s incredibly easy to empathize with the words that The Written Years lace their songs with. Thanks in large part to the conflicted lyrics and the inspiring instrumentals, the album managed to make me feel both connected as well as alone (I know,right? Pretty melancholy. Also, pretty awesome). When I was listening to the album I felt both happy and sad. Pure melancholia. It was as if I was seeing an extremely beautiful place for the first and last time, and a part of me knew that this was the only time I’d ever get to see the beauty before me. In this way, The Written Years as an album manages to inhabit the very “cold in between” that lead vocalist Wade Ouellet sings about in “The Station.” That place that feels isolated and alone but is still sometimes called home.

Thanks to Kane Enders’ tight, upbeat drums and Kodie Krogh’s melodic guitar riffs, the album possesses a hopeful sound that juxtaposes the often lost and melancholy moments within the lyrics. The band’s ability to incorporate slower, more-acoustic anthems with soulful Indie Rock songs makes each track unique and endearing. While I feel like I could write for years (insert cheap pun joke) about this album, I’ll conclude with this: The Written Years is a cinematic album that made me bob my head, sing along, stare at my ceiling, smile, and even tear up a bit at times.

Remember, the album drops January 28th! Be sure to buy your copy. You won’t regret it!

Standout Songs: “It’s Not Your Fault,” “You’re Too Kind,” “The Station

Hailing from 'The Good Life City' of Albany, Georgia, Colby Pines is the middle child of five boys. While his family is primarily comprised of men, the Pines family did have a female dog once... unfortunately she died... God bless his poor mother. When Mr. Pines was in third grade the doctors discovered that he had an extra bone in his knee. The bone did not possess any magical powers or help Colby run faster/jump higher, so the doctors surgically removed the bone and refused to let Colby keep it as a souvenir. Colby recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a Master's degree in having cool friends and wearing great sweaters. Colby studied abroad at Oxford University's Trinity College where he was able to visit three of the four coasts, but was not able to bring back a baby with a British accent. Colby enjoys going to the movies, scotch, traveling, playing folk music with his band, BirdHead, eating good and bad food, writing, dabbling, playing Fantasy Football with his Pigskinz and Sundee Beerz League, reading a great book, and all sorts of music. While Colby has a bit of a bipolar taste in music, some of his favorite bands include: Band of Horses, Death Cab for Cutie, 2pac, Washed Out, Johnny Cash, Childish Gambino, Local Natives, The Beatles, Danny Brown, and Beach House. Colby is currently single and quite possibly ready to mingle. Colby has broken five bones, saved two children from drowning, been to Canada twice, and almost fallen into The Grand Canyon once. While he tends to miss things like Breaking Bad, eighth grade, Hey Arnold!, and Surge soda, Colby's excited for the future where he hopes to continue writing and doing the things that he loves.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Vinyl Mag – EXCLUSIVE SONG PREMIERE: The Written Years’ “The Station”

  2. jbentley

    January 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Colby, based on your review I have purchased this album, and I haven’t bought an album in years. Looking forward to listening to it.

  3. Colby Pines

    January 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I appreciate that! I hope that you enjoy the album as much as I did.

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