Island Mele: Crimson Apple returns with ‘Somebody’
The music is more mainstream pop this time, and much less guitar rock. However, all the songs are originals from inside the group.
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Crimson Apple (Amuse)
When Crimson Apple released its debut album, “Hello,” in the fall of 2015, the guitar-pop group was faced with a potentially make-it-or-break-it decision. Should they stay in Hawaii where they had an established following, and promote themselves as best they could on internet music platforms and social media? Or, should they go for it big time, leave Hawaii and go to Los Angeles, land of broken dreams and unlimited possibilities, and start over as almost unknowns?
In the months that followed, the quintet that had recorded “Hello” became a quartet consisting of the Benson sisters — Colby (lead vocals/keyboards/key-tar), Shelby (lead guitar/vocals), Carthi (bass/vocals) and Faith (drums). Then, like Aidan James and Streetlight Cadence, they packed up their gear and moved to L.A.
“Somebody,” their neatly packaged six-song EP, shows that they have not been idle since they bid the islands aloha ‘oe. Officially released shortly before the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in May, “Somebody” leaves no doubt that Crimson Apple is ready and worthy of mainstream radio play nationwide.
The music is more mainstream pop this time, and much less guitar rock. However, as with “Hello,” all the songs are originals from inside the group. And, as with “Hello,” the lyrics are vivid and memorable.
Start with “Shower,” which describes the life of a teenager for whom long showers are a way of escaping battling parents, lonely rich kids, and boys who “keep adding up.” The lyric images became darker with multiple listenings.
The songs that follow share other experiences in equally interesting style. They include triumph over a heart-breaker (“Sorry Now”), romantic desire (“Somebody”), and the emotions involved in encountering an ex and wanting to pick up the pieces right then and there (“Who Knows”). A fifth song, “Can’t Get Out Of Bed,” describes a struggle with depression that we can only hope is not autobiographical.
Crimson Apple addresses an important issue of religious faith with “Mr. Maker.” Sleepless nights can be an excellent time to ponder the reason for our being here.
“Prehistoric school” folks who prefer hard-copy CDs to music files and downloads receive some value added with this one. Included with the CD and the basic production credits are the lyrics to all six songs — the insightful poetry that the Benson sisters write and set to music. Having the writers’ lyrics is especially important in those places when hearing can be deceiving and the lyrics misunderstood.