Artist Spotlight

Review: A is for Atom, “Song For You”

No Comments 7 September 2014

Review: A is for Atom, “Song For You”

“What’s most pleasing to me about Song For You is the incredibly unique vocal tone and song structures that have developed on this record. The material here is reminiscent of the rebellious nature of grunge meets modern polished pop.”

Artist: A is for Atom

EP: Song For You

Genre: Rock

RIYL: The National, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elvis Costello

A is for Atom Song For You

A is for Atom is the onstage moniker of Brooklyn’s Mike Cykoski, an indie pop-rock artist releasing the EP Song For You. This record is an exploration of post-breakup heartache. Well, wrapped up in a more overriding futuristic take on heartache in an upbeat package.

Song For You boasts some interesting structural and lyrical choices. Cykoski refers to composition, particularly those of a classical or film score variety, in his bio. And that’s definitely reflected here on the five songs included in this EP. This material is thoughtful, even best described as cerebral, at times where it could occasionally use a little more abandon. These tracks feel highly refined, and perhaps that’s what I’m reacting to. The simplicity and clever arrangement of chorus to verse, interjected with surprising shots of piercing guitars almost feels too polished, even if the impetus for the material itself is more visceral.

That said, however, “Load Up On Guns” is a great introductory track, it hits with an assertiveness that feels immediately accessible and maintains its uniqueness in tone. Think about The National meets Neutral Milk Hotel and you have A is for Atom. “A Song For You” was born from a comment from a now ex-girlfriend who claimed “you never wrote a song for me.” And with that, the thematic breakup EP manifested into this record. “The White Dress” is my favorite track here, however, for multiple reasons. This one diverges a bit from the others and explores a fuller, more dramatic playfulness with the addition of piano, horns and harmonies that break this wide open. It’s a fully realized track that shows off that interest in composition in an impressively cohesive way.

What’s most pleasing to me about Song For You is the incredibly unique vocal tone and song structures that have developed on this record. The material here is reminiscent of the rebellious nature of grunge meets modern polished pop. Truly modern pop, none of that lyrically devoid party pop so prevalent on mainstream radio. A is for Atom makes thoughtful, progressive compositions that are full of musical potential. While I’m not sure where Cykoski is headed next musically, I’m certainly interested in finding out.


A is for Atom website: http://aisforatom.com/

 

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