Picture a small, dimly lit venue with a dusty stage in the back. The ambiance is quite relaxed; the space is occupied, but not packed. There is minimal chatter between young music-lovers who appreciate innovative music and ideas. The crowd vibes in time to a conglomeration of folk, indie, and electronic sounds. This is the mental imagery that could conceivably accompany Gone Gone Beyond’s self-titled debut album.
Danny Musengo’s raw, captivating vocals are quite prominent throughout the album. The raspy timbre of his voice coupled with the soul behind each note keeps the audience holding onto each syllable.
“Back Swing’s” electric guitar sounds haunting with the echo distortion and open melodic intervals. More unique instrumentation includes a growly trumpet harmony and violin. “Carnival” nicely juxtaposes what sounds like acoustic piano with electronic percussion. It’s got a flair of EDM with a dance groove towards the end that gives the a song cool ‘B’ section. “Under Seige” implements the innocent female vocals of Colibri which gives the track a refreshing quality.
Gone Gone Beyond says that the subject matter of their lyrics stems from life, nature, and love- The Human Experience. “Here for A Moment” highlights that love and life are both fleeting, and Musengo sings that he’s “here for a moment, then floating away.” The repetition of the line allows for the layers to build and solidify the concept. In “Ain’t Givin’ Up On Love,” it’s obvious the quest for love is ongoing and shouldn’t be missed out on. The longest and final track called “Long Day” is the longest track in the collection. This song seems to represent life as a whole as life can be thought of as one lengthy day. While lyrics touch on children growing older and seemingly unrequited love, the instrumentals say it all. The soft lull and highs and lows paint an aural picture of the ups and downs of life.
It is evident that David Block (producer) put a great deal of time and energy into writing and blending each of the compositional elements. The majority of tracks are just over five minutes long, which deviates from the standard four minute norm. There is more consideration for development of phrases and transitions between different ideas, which ultimately takes more time than a regular indie or folk song. Each song begins with a very sparse texture and builds throughout incorporating more and more instruments. The choice of instrumentation and musicianship of the players are what make this album enticing to listen to. Traditional band instruments like guitar and piano are combined with flute, violin, trumpet, double bass, synthesized sounds, and steel pan. Each instrument has a specific purpose and isn’t incorporated for the novelty of doing so.
Key Tracks: Back Swing, Long Day, Ain’t Givin Up On Love