Albums that are difficult to categorize or place in any preexisting genre are usually the most fun to listen to and the most challenging to write about. How do you define something that includes multiple styles without resorting to a laundry list of artists it “kind of” sounds like? You do it very carefully.
Thirty Days, Sixty Years is the sophomore LP from the San Francisco-based quartet Blisses B. Listening to the opening track, “Regal Goodbyes”, you’d probably peg them for another indie pop outfit in the Arcade Fire school of rock. Then the mandolin and banjo in “Valley Low” arrive, and you’re in the middle of some kind of nouveau bluegrass venture. Not content to simply switch styles from song to song, however, Blisses B takes its genre bending within individual tracks: the soft, stripped-down opening half of “I Was Around” is swiftly propelled into a high-energy, folk-rock climax.
Combining so many styles within one album or even one song could easily result in a sound that is convoluted or even contrived, but Blisses B manages to take these very different textures and construct something entirely their own. Singer Noah Libby’s incredible vocals are just rough enough around the edges to effortlessly weave these sounds together, creating an album that takes a unique, heartfelt look at the periods of time that come to define us. In their own words:
Thirty Days, Sixty Years explores the mathematical parameters that define our lives — weekends, vacations, adolescence, adulthood, the reality of how much time we have left on this earth — and the personal equations that result from the many caveats that can extend and shorten most of these time frames. Are we spending our time wisely, with the right people, and in the right place? What are we giving back?
If you’re in the bay area you can catch them in San Francisco on Friday, May 20th at Amnesia, or in Santa Cruz on Thursday, June 9th at the Crepe Place. You can listen to Thirty Days, Sixty Years in full over at their SoundCloud page, and purchase the album for only $5 on their Bandcamp page.