The essence of “indie music” certainly takes on quite a lot of nuance and weight to its name. That term is wide-ranging and seemingly all-encompassing, with the lines being blurred as to what “indie” truly stands for — and its relationship to other broad genre titles such as “alternative” music or even the idea of pop is it stands.
At least where we stand at this very moment, the music world practically has no rules and no set standards; as such, genre tags and musical fanship are beginning to take a backseat to arguably a better and far more substantial mode of approaching it all — that being appreciating these genre-melding acts for what they truly are doing, and that is making forward-thinking and inevitably timeless music.
To say that Gabby O’Leary – known prominently under the pseudonym “Kapsack” – manifests just about everything that makes up this aforementioned sentiment in our current times would be selling even such a remarkable act like this so very short. Since making their presence known some time ago with a variety of projects that worked to build something of an artistic baseline to capitalize on in the future, the rising progenitor of all things alternative, resounding, and simply artful in the indie landscape has wholly cemented their status as such with their newly-released full-length album in The Buzz of a Lifetime.
Sitting at 10 tracks long with just under a half hour’s time to take it all in, Knapsack utilizes all the grace and glory that they withhold in regards to their artistry to weave together a superb album experience that is as momentous in its own right as it is returnable and seemingly ever-lasting.
Throughout nearly every track here, Knapsack wastes no time in exclaiming and displaying their remarkable artistic evolution, and how they have progressed from that aforementioned baseline status in the time since it was established. The project exudes this sense of wonder and passion, and its resulting status all-but-sets that mark in stone based on how telling the work put into it comes off.
Knapsack takes the stylistic approaches popularized by acts within the since-established “bedroom pop” era and combines them with sounds and facets that were simply not present when that period was going strong. Those aspects are saturated in the advancements and overall progression made since that very period — with this project’s incorporation of electronically-inclined and even atmospheric ideals and their corresponding methodologies.
Those features shine through in tracks like “Anemia,” “Sleepyhead,” and “Twelve Degrees” — as they all feature some sort of nuanced tone about them based off of those aforementioned facts. Kapsack’s incredible vocals throughout the project also fall under this mantle at times as well, with certain vocal passages being deconstructed and/or elevated with a number of ideally-placed effects.
The overall production follows suit based on what has already been claimed, with a wide variety of instruments playing their roles ever-so-perfectly throughout each and every track here — ranging from acoustic guitars, soaring pads, and percussion that sees itself diverging from raw and unfiltered to laid-back and subdued.
All of these facets combine to create something completely unheard of up to this point — not only in regards to our modern music landscape, but also as far as one would like to extend the bar as far the indie world is historically concerned. Knapsack has come into their own on with this album, and that would truly be remarkable on its own, but with this assuring feat has also come an album that will serve to last for a great deal of time moving forward.