Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Indie Music: Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz, "The Loss We've Won"

 by Germar Derron


I listened to this album after another senseless mass shooting in the United States--the fourth or fifth within just a few short weeks. It helped. Apparently, Anders and O'Bitz are known for their social commentary and immersive moods. I may not be in a place to dissect commentary, but the immersive mood calmed me.

None of the nine tracks here sound uplifting in the traditionally bright, loud, or fast sense. And, honestly, sometimes that pleasant plucking can agitate or even infuriate. But even without the smiles and rainbows, something about The Loss We've Won feels hopeful. Somehow, the overall mood of the project appeals to an inner, likely repressed, longing or necessity. They've crafted a feeling more than a sound.

A common debate poses this question: do we listen to music that fits our mood, or do we listen to music to change our mood? Somehow, here, Anders and O'Bitz answer "yes" to both questions. Often, when the soul saddens we turn to nostalgia, like the music of our past--a time when life was light and joy-filled. Sometimes we turn to pop or dance--shiny, sparkly things that distract--instant mood boosters. The Loss We've Won fits the mood of this dark moment, while still promoting peace, calmness, and relaxation.

While listening to "Family Song," I felt this missing familial love before I read the title or noticed the clearer than glass lyrics.  

This perfect immersive experience is not coincidental or even mere serendipity. A well-balanced mixed and carefully considered arrangement bears the weight of all this goodness. 

The project is summed perfectly in its title. This is not "The Loss." It's either "the loss we've earned" or "in the losing, we have won." Under either understanding, it is what it is and we experience it all together. 


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