I want to start by saying two things: Thank you Jesus the vinyl for this album is blue, and I will forever be kicking myself for missing these guys playing in Nashville due to some unforeseen vehicle-breaking-down circumstances.
This week, we’re talking about one of the best albums of this year by one of the most underrated bands: Vinyl Theatre’s sophomore debut, Origami. These guys have become a staple on my daily playlist and after listening to this album, I hope they’ll become one for you, too.
This electronic/rock/pop album was released in May of this year, and while I did jam out to it at surface level all summer, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and hammer out the lyrics or sounds until now. I’m sorry that I waited so long.
The album opens with My Fault. It’s easily the catchiest track, and yes, I’ll admit that I have been caught singing AND drumming to this in the car on my commute to work. The bridge paints a picture of a person who has it in their own power to be the best person that they can be, but without confidence, they keep themselves from it.
Day In Day Out picks up with themes similar to Fade Away and The Island (we’ll talk about those later) with sad lyrics and upbeat sounds, which is my personal favorite kind of music because it gives you the opportunity to listen to a song in a variety of moods. New Machines takes over as a powerful, electronic number that asks the question: How much could we change this small world with the right people in charge? We are so small and the world around us is so much bigger than we could ever imagine. It’s interesting to see a band take on a wide concept like space, but it’s a strong song with great guitar riffs.
The album’s lead single is also the first one I ever heard: 30 Seconds. It delivers a great chorus that says a lot without using too many words. Life can be as short as the blink of an eye if you don’t take the time to appreciate it. Speak My Mind comes in as a strong rock ballad with my favorite lyrics on the whole album, “Maybe I’ll escape, this prison in my headspace.” It’s about not knowing how to express your anxiety when your own mind and insecurities tell you not to speak up.
The Island is all about wanting to know a partner better and trying to break down the shield they have up. The island itself here is an imaginary sanctuary created for that person to express how they really feel about the narrator, and on that island, the narrator promises to keep those secrets to themselves. The bridge comes in strong with a portrait of desperation that you can hear in lead vocalist Keegan Calmes’ stellar and broken vocals. On a lighter note, I think this song would sound awesome if someone did a cover of it with steel drums involved.
Pull Your Weight is my everything. It’s the best song on the album for me. This is a song about focusing on yourself and not on the toxicity that some people in your life exude. It’s a track about a bit of tough love because you can’t truly address someone else’s problems or inner issues unless you face your own demons first. Fade Away has a Bittersweet Symphony feeling from keyboardist Chris Senner’s keyed sounds in its beginning and asks the question: Can you become enough to make it in this life? It’s the most relatable song for me because growing up is hard. You leave people behind to do your own thing, and you’re expected to succeed in said thing without a single misstep. As someone who has just ventured out into the “grown up world” myself, sometimes it feels like I can’t mess up or I get too afraid to take opportunities because the pressure of failure is too much to handle.
Vinyl Theatre closes out with Thank You for the Good Times, a classic breakup song that I definitely have to learn on piano. It gives me vibes reminiscent of Queen in the last part of the song where drummer Nick Cesarz brings in loud percussive elements into the mix to close this album on a high note.
In conclusion, this album is beyond spectacular. I could not praise it enough. It addresses tough subjects and delivers complex lyrics that cause you to look deeper for the real meaning of each song. Take a moment if you have it this week and play through this nine track album and enjoy the sounds of one of my favorite bands, Vinyl Theatre.
(I own no pictures and opinions are my own)