by Tiana Feng
Release Date: March 26th, 2013
Label: Backward Music
Last year Forward Music Group introduced experimental sub-label Backward Music. One of its first releases is multi-instrumentalist Joshua Van Tassel’s third album Dream Date.
Full of instrumental/ambient soundscapes, the record is like tracks to a non-existent film that is perhaps in his head. Only two songs have words including “The Warmest Heart” which is reminiscent of Radiohead’s Kid-A in its subtle layering. Justin Rutledge’s vocal vibrato at the end of every line is goosebump inducing.
The rest of the album soundtracks a movie. “Sentimental Health” is that flirtatious bar scene. Someone dies in “Bottom of the well” in an epic matrix sort of death as illustrated by the percussion. Or perhaps it’s James Bond style, since there is a Daniel Craig reference later on. String laden “Sneaky Beard” is as playful as its title. “I Think You’re A Salesman” where Kate Rogers lends vocals is the female protagonists theme song as she saves the day. In the end the guy gets the girl as silent spoken by “Companion”.
Flow wise, it is a bit like a movie. The beginning starts off slowly but once you get to the middle you are captured by its plot and sit through until the very end.