My last post was a very useful "scorching" review -- an attempt to look at the Reuel Ropp EP from a distance and judge it... written by Zac Garver.
Different kinds of voices help the artist grow and are necessary to get us to making better art. The critic's voice is one of those. Another is the voice of a friend who has tracked your development as an artist over time and can speak to your work on those terms. What a gift!
Here is what my friend Andrew Kreider wrote about Future Past Present:
I loved listening to this EP. Congratulations to you both – you have four strong songs here.
The playing is strong throughout. Love the harmonica and big reverb on Carry On. So atmospheric. The multiple guitars on Graveyard and its whole vibe reminded me of Elbow in the heights of The Seldom Seen Kid. Awesome.
Again, I want you both to know how impressed I am – keep going!
The hypnotic rocking of Graveyard with its soaring melody lulls the listener with its deceptive simplicity, while Carry On has a strong inner momentum that underlines the courage of moving forward - the hope that “someone’s plotting better days.” Carry On ends with this simple offering, “And every step I take is all I have to give anyway.” Many of us could hope to say as much.
These days, Jonathan writes like a grown man, no longer a youngster– informed by loss, casting his gaze back over terrain he keeps crossing at slightly different angles, starting to discern the shape of a calling that has always been there. As he rightly puts it, with our deepest calling, it “takes a life to accept it.” In the end, there can be deep stillness in embracing what has come to be, and these songs show a glimpse of the promise in that struggle, the gift of being “exhausted but rested.”
With the underlying sense of hope that runs through the whole project, it’s fitting to end the EP on the image of the skies opening after rains – on the line “blue is the sky.”