“What is change but drawing parallels between a point in time and what you’ve lost since then?” are the opening lines to the record Parallels. A collection of two old songs and two new recorded in 2013 but just released. Parallels is an anthem EP that breaks down the creeping emotions we keep hidden behind our spines, brings them to life, and rips them apart with larger than life choruses and raw musical interludes.
Now I’ve sat on this song for about a year or so and each time I hear those lines it rips me apart and I immediately think of the person I use to be and the person I am now. Being a not so huge fan of change, this song comforts me into believing that You are You and You will be the best You no matter what You change about Yourself. “Still feeling restless but making amends between time, myself, and distance/ A thread pulled taut, cut and tied, wearing thin as our patience.” Thoughts that keep us awake at night, this is something we all feel, but never can articulate, whether its because you’re afraid to open your mouth or hurting someone or even yourself but finding anew and letting go of old hopes is what life is about. A beautiful and quiet intro breaking into a huge exploding sound with the perfect contrast of flow and energy. I love the journey this song takes me on because just when you think the ride is over it only becomes more intense and more beautiful.
I’ve Gained and Lost Patience With Time is an old song that’s been around for years off their second EP ‘To Feel Deserving of All This’. Short and simple lyrics about keeping your mouth shut because in all honesty it’s probably better. A song about growth, realizing life isn’t over because of the little things, and finding your way through the mediocre shit. Not always trivial, something we’ve all heard but delivered in such a way you’re holding onto your seat begging for more. The instrumentation Van Gogh Sky provides is a fucking unreal rollercoaster that makes you want to air-play (?) every instrument. The tight and unstable energy of I’ve Gained and Lost Patience With Time is a certifiable jam that you want to get lost in. Whether you’d say the instrumental parts are that of an experimental band or post apocalyptic band the music speaks for itself with or without lyrics.
Now I’m going to get deep and tell you all about why “This Is How You Better Yourself” is in my top 5 favorite songs of all time. It’s going to get personal so just skip a few paragraphs. This song means more to me than almost anything I hold dear; you can’t hold a candle to it!!
Anyways: Recently I got back from a youth retreat that really made me reevaluate my life – mainly my attitude towards life and my addictions. I mean the absolute best weekend of my life! I made friends and family that knew the incredible person I was and could be even when I gave up on myself.
Driving home from the church to my house (about 30 minutes) I think about how the magic of the weekend is over, I have experienced the lord, I met someone I can’t get out of my head, I have given up my addictions to better myself and experience life the way I never thought I could. I had so many unanswered questions about my life that I never bothered to care about until now and this song comes blasting through my speakers assuring me that life is okay when you want to better yourself…(see what I did)
“A step beyond blue but not clinically depressed/ the sweet isn’t as sweet as it use to be/ I’m scared I won’t enjoy what comes out of this/ but I’ll be glad that it’ll be over/ as long as I am older”
This is where my life was. Unhappy, burning bridges with friends, family, band members, work colleagues, people from school; I wanted it all to be over. I wanted my depression to throw a blanket over me and stick me in a closet. The things I once enjoyed ruined because I’m an idiot.
“I forget the worth of growing and that living is a process/ No one really leaves but no one ever stays either/ I’ve been basing my decisions too much on your opinions/ Everyone around my seems to have their life figured out/ Forfeit myself to a lost cause/ forget myself and who I was”.
I don’t have to say anything because this is how I was feeling. This song just hit home…(see what I did there again). I never thought there was a path for me in life. Period. I always pictured my life ending. Just ending. Then the retreat happened where I found a candle in the dark in Waymart, Pa. Maybe just a kick in the ass, or maybe something real and something tangible, but something nonetheless. Something I have to be patient for, obedient. Suddenly this next verse kicked in and I realized that no matter what happens I am going to be okay. Someone out there has a path for me to take and I’m going to better myself for it.
“I’ve earned back the value of all my previous actions, and I don’t feel ashamed at all for who I’ve been/ I still worry about the future or where I’ll be in ten years/ but I’m consciously striving for a life well spent.”
Here’s the banger:
“I’m feeling okay about spending time alone/ Try forgetting and moving on/ To commit this to memory/ To feel deserving of all of this”.
I finally feel deserving of the life I have been given. I found my comfort and life reassurance in this song.
“Tact & Character” will rock your world if you like super sad mathrock songs. The feeling and emotion I got from this last track was a total comfort breakup song and how it’s okay to be in the limbo of recently broken up haze (I tried to write this sentence different times and then I gave up). What a way to articulate the unspoken feelings you get after waking up alone and how scary it is. This track is what I’ve been waiting for VGS to do; their quintessential song in their discography.
I’ve awaited this EP for the past three years! Van Gogh Sky was/ is/ and will forever be my hands down all time favorite band. They were there for my formative years, my addictions, break-ups, troubles, and highlights. They have been incredible friends to me; even family, and each one of them have inspired me to start my own band. The highlight of my musical “career” was being lucky enough to play a show with them – this band will always have the biggest space held in my heart. Parallels is the total culmination of everything these four dudes stand for, every show they’ve ever played, and every song they’ve ever wrote. If they record more – great, and if not then this is the perfect note to end on.
Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect
EP LINK: https://vangoghsky.bandcamp.com/album/parallels
Featured Image by James Fitzgerald
Cover Art: https://f1.bcbits.com/img/a2402399342_2.jpg