From their earliest incarnation as FarCry, One From Many has never struggled with their artistic vision. Sharing common personal goals and standards is every bit as important to a band’s long term success as musical concerns. Andrew Supina’s songwriting has always shown tremendous curiosity in its willingness to explore personal concerns, glitters with genuine empathy, and soars with a deceptively poetic sensibility that doesn’t risk pretentiousness. The band’s newest incarnation surrounds him with equally talented and like-minded collaborators and their initial offering, a full length release entitled The Alleged Album, was greeted with great acclaim and chatter about the band’s promise. The promise is a step closer to full realization with their follow-up EP 29:11. This is an immaculately produced five song collection that finds the band’s songwriting dealing exclusively with personal concerns and foregoing much of the testimonial and devotional aspect much more in evidence on The Alleged Album. It sounds like One From Many have learned to synthesize their spirituality with the music marketplace without ever sacrificing or compromising their beliefs. It’s a testament to their talents, but the songs themselves are the final gauntlet.
The EP begins in devastating fashion. “Like a Ghost” is a painfully intimate lament about the pain of abandonment and lost opportunities. The pacing lags somewhere just south of mid-tempo, but there’s a tangibly languid feeling enveloping the track and other light musical touches imbuing it with a ethereal, haunted texture. The acoustic guitar is a steadying and often lyrical musical force. It remains so on the EP’s second song, “These Three Words”, and provides enormous support for vocalist Andrew Supina on the track’s grand, virtually cinematic, chorus. It’s an intelligently written and clever track that takes a decidedly light direction than the EP’s other songs, but nevertheless fits in within 29:11’s larger scheme. “Apology” sports another memorable vocal melody and resulting fine performance from Supina, but it’s a complete composition that succeeds because its disparate elements are working along similar lines. The union between guitar and voice is, arguably, the biggest key to the EP’s artistic success and finds its finest expression in this song.
“Promise Forever” is another bittersweet rumination on the wide-eyed, heartfelt language that characterizes love in full swing compared to the stinging aftermath when words, in the end, proved to be just that and nothing more. There’s an appealing strain of Americana running through songs like “Promise Forever” – at times, they sound like post-modern pop folk with a muted rock and roll sensibility and delivered by top flight musicians. The EP’s finale “Afterglow” revisits some of the ethereal qualities on display in the opener, but the subject matter remains focused on romantic affairs of the heart as opposed to parental woe. It’s another magnificently layered track that, despite its pared back sonic, nonetheless sounds remarkably full and orchestrated.
One From Many score big with this latest release and build on the momentum from their debut full length. If this is a taste of their work to come, it’s safe to say that they have arrived on a new road and have likely touched the tip of the iceberg in respect to their playing and compositional abilities. 29:11 is essential for anyone interested in musically and lyrically substantive modern bands.