Melodic yet occasionally edgy, Early Melodic Animals is a band so widely likeable that it is difficult to not sing along with every tune. Much like U2, R.E.M, and Matchbox 20, this Los Angeles based quartet does not settle for being pleasant background music. J.D. Parsons and Daniel Hudson, who formed the band in 2010, are striving to create a “shift of consciousness through melodies that provoke deep thought and emotions.” Parsons (singer/songwriter) and Hudson (guitars) were joined by producer Riz Story (bassist/keyboardist), and Stephen Perkins (drums) to create Early Melodic Animals’ full length debut, Day 01. The album was released March 5, 2011. Currently working off their own label, Loyal 7 records, the group is already planning their follow-up album. The planned name for the album is Day 02.
EMA is about more than making music though. The band aims to raise awareness of animal and ecological welfare, donating 15% of their Mp3 player sales to Animal Acres Sanctuary. Parsons, EMA’s vegan frontman, has long felt a connection to his fellow mammals and is launching a documentary on how to help protect farm animals and endangered species from human insensitivity.
Spanning pop, rock, and post-grunge genres, Day 01 attracts a broad-spectrum audience. Desiring to ‘be the change’ Early Melodic Animals aptly begins the album with “Move”, an upbeat R.E.M. pop style tune that beckons listeners to ‘recreate reality’.
“Empty”, with its soothing vocals and soulful baseline, is one of album’s catchiest tracks. It was also wisely selected as a single.
Most striking is the welcoming nature of EMA’s music. The songs with heavier guitar buildup, such as “Feel Low” and “Peace of Mind”, are offset by the relaxed vocals.
The middle of the album deepens with the beautifully wistful “LSD”, expressing the lonesomeness of aimlessness: “Follow you down, I’ve no place to go / Rewind everything, I have no place called home.”
The album wraps up with “Catastrophe”, a song which seemingly speaks of conviction. Unfortunately the mood does not support the feeling behind the lyrics. Rather than expressing a resolve to stand by personal beliefs, this song’s harmonious repetitions feel like a pleasant Sunday drive. The title alone begs for more musical edge. Still, the song is a good sing-along tune.
“Song for Julien” is the parting ninth track of Day 01, tacked on as a brief and beautiful tribute to one of Parson’s recently deceased high school classmates. Early Melodic Animals graciously ends with the words, “Until we meet again.”
Written by Myriah Christine