"I Almost Fee" and "On the Run", who, despite their bubbly exteriors, are founded on lyrical substance wise beyond Asbury's 23 years.
Next Tuesday, March 4th, marks the release of Asbury's debut, but in the meantime you can head over to SPIN, to stream the album in its entirety.
Ryan Michalak (Is Coming to Town)
I Almost Fell
Beyond the Wind
So Far Away
Ride Into the Night
On the Run
All That's Passed
Axxas/Abraxas is the music and art project of 23 year-old Atlanta native Ben Asbury. The name is derived from two principles that Asbury associates together, one deeply personal, one spiritually dichotomous. Their seamless integration into one sentiment echoes the sonic and visual elements of Axxas/Abraxas.
Sinking his teeth into music at an early age, Asbury has been collecting records and obsessively ingesting all forms for the better half of his life ("I got into punk in the third grade"). From the early introduction of 60's pop, through his foray into punk rock as a young boy, to post rock and Elephant Six Indie rock and back to 60's psychedelia, his consumption goes full circle. Over the years he has carefully honed his sound and absorbed these influences (more specifically, Neil Young, Television Personalities, 'Elevators, The 'Dead, Olivia Tremor Control) to create his own cohesive adaptation of psych art-pop.
The tracks that make up Axxas/Abraxas were written and demo'ed around the time Ben was in college, where he was studying psychology, religion and sociology. While studying, he founded the RTA Collective (on which he released his cassettes with his visual art) and concurrently developed a fascination with the analog synth, the final linchpin in what would be the sound of Axxas/Abraxas.
The combination of fuzzy psych and DIY silkscreen imagery arrived in a package to the Captured Tracks office in the form of a demo that stood out among hundreds of others.
To bring the debut to life we enlisted Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Rear House Recording) to record and produce. The resulting album is the artistic culmination of a prodigious young songwriter putting it all together in an erudite way, despite his tendency to write lyrics which are "...generally directed at myself, often criticizing my shortcomings..." No matter how he criticizes himself, one need only listen to the record to see he's quite confident in his music.