Music You’ve Been Missing #4

Posts by Alex

Into It. Over It. – Proper
How Long You’ve Been Missing Out: 3 Years (Released September 2011)
The Album in One Sentence: A fresh take on the original early 90’s emo movement, restored in all its mathematical, guitar-driven glory.
Defining Lyric: “I am between the words you’re telling me with a fine toothed comb. I’m drawing lines in the hindsight until the stories start to line up right.” – Midnight: Carroll Street

I actually first discovered Evan Weiss AKA Into It. Over It. at Mr. Small’s Theatre in Pittsburgh, five days before this album was officially released through No Sleep Records. He was the supporting act at a show that I attended to see the other two bands. But then he started playing. And suddenly I was there to see all three bands. Evan created more sound from a single guitar and two hands than I’ve ever heard. No, he didn’t do the August Rush percussive acoustic thing. He just wrote single guitar parts that sounded like it should belong to three guitars. And then he sang over it. I was blown away.
Proper opens strong with a crescendoing drum part that suddenly explodes into several complex and repetitive guitar parts. Weiss’ signature distant, half yelling vocals follow, opening the album with character. The next pair of tracks demonstrate the composing prowess that comes from a musician who truly understands their instrument.
Moving on we find another signature Into It. Over It. sound, the quiet and plucky acoustic track written in an open tuning. This is a great example of what it was that drew me to Weiss’ music even before I heard a band behind him. Following “No Good Before Noon” we have “Write it Right” a very technical, aggressive track for your upbeat music fix.
Worth noting are the two central tracks of the album (in fact the two tracks that border the side change on the vinyl release), “Midnight: Carroll Street” and “Connecticut Steps”. “Carroll Street” is honestly a flawless track. If you pick one to listen to on the album, pick this one. Lyrically it’s incredibly clever, but musically it’s staggeringly well thought out. It begins with just a raw sounding guitar track, and throws a double vocal track on top (throw good headphones on to hear the low track). Slowly some cymbals join the fun, before the bass and second guitar come and establish some themes. Suddenly we go from ambient build up to full on composition. Then we take the composition we just heard, and open it wide up before a full band reprise of the earlier theme. Then a sudden drop of to begin another rebuild into an almost Death Cab for Cutie-esque jam. Seriously. I love this song.
If “Carroll Street” wins Best Composition, “Connecticut Steps” wins best written guitar part. This song was the moment in Evan’s set that night that I knew I was a huge fan. The story he told about it really resonated with my recent history at the time and the whole moment was just amazing. So this song can never sound bad to me. Watch the story video and then listen. It’ll be an experience.

All in all, Proper is catchy. It’s intelligent. It’s powerful at times and playful at others. Evan Weiss is a true songwriting talent the likes of which don’t come around often. And he’s one of the busiest musicians out there right now.

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!