Jack Conte – Sleep in Color EP

Jack Conte - Sleep in Color

Jack Conte - Sleep in Color EP

Jack Conte’s personal YouTube channel is awesome. The San Francisco musician is a multi-instrumentalist and honestly, is a stunning revelation to view. The latest, new, technology craze are these so-called “Video Songs” and how superbly Conte is able to construct them. No, this isn’t like something Girl Talk does, this is the true mashing and fusing of two dissimilar songs and the rules are simple: 1.What you see is what you get (no lip-synching) and 2. If you hear it, you must see it (no hidden sounds.) And trust me; after you see this impressive musician combine Aphex Twin’s snappy, synthesized “Flim” and Bright Eyes’ poignant, storytelling “First Day of My Life,” you will be amazed.

With that said, it’s a shame these same vivid recordings, startlingly lively and most importantly, raw material can’t be properly recorded onto a studio release. Conte’s latest EP, Sleep in Color, is a positively vibrant experience and with a spacious selection of sounds, it doesn’t disappoint. However, after you see him cover Radiohead’s “The National Anthem” with his own personal instruments (and yes, you see him do everything) and re-create Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.” in all of its glory, this five-song EP can’t help but feel like a let down.

It’s a shame, too, because these are some great songs and regardless of how well-crafted any of the abovementioned covers and mash-ups sound, these five songs are some inventively arranged pieces. “Hollywood Endings” begins everything by showing off Conte’s electronic influences. With snare drums that rattle and buzz like a lesser version of Venetian Snares and with enough warbles and roars for anyone, the song’s drive and intensity are enough to boast. There is more of the same on “The Greatest Hoax” which has some of the best chord progressions on the entire release and as one of the songs that brings Conte’s trademark glockenspiel to the front, it’s a winner.

“Now That’s Sacred” reveals an inviting listen with a drum set that sounds as if it is inside your head and music that is further filled in with looming, growing, accordion reverberations. But it just might be Conte’s best song with how tightly constructed everything sounds. The material amassed has little true cohesion as nothing is united by a common theme but nonetheless, it fits the album’s title with a hazy, dream-like kaleidoscope of colors.

Do yourself a favor and check out this music because Conte is a one-man wrecking crew. I don’t think anyone else could join one of Chopin’s most beloved works with Radiohead’s “Exit Music for a Film” but Conte does. And even if his own bedroom recordings come off as worthier compositions, the aforementioned original works aren’t something to scoff at. There is a true talent here and under all of the gleam and shine lies an impressively gifted musician, one that shouldn’t be ignored by anyone.

Jack Conte: http://www.myspace.com/jackconte

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/JackConteMusic