After listening to this set of songs the first time through, my first thought was that these would be great as a soundtrack for a couple trying to make their relationship work while dealing with depression or struggling through a break-up. When I looked up the husband and wife duo that are the broken fits, (yes, all lower case) I was pleasantly surprised to see that's exactly what they're aiming for with these songs. Steven and Amanda of the broken fits are advocates for mental health and believe "that an open dialogue can help to remove the stigma of mental illness, and quite possibly save a life." (Quote from their website.) All of these songs have an undercurrent of "this is us, this is how we get past the bad times, this is us surviving and remaining in love," feel to them. Singer-songwriters as wellness advocates. But not gurus: This is the two of them trying to explain how they make it work, through honest expression, with artistic merit, that they may not have all the answers, but this is what works for them, and they're trying just as hard as each and all of us to get by. That they're doing this through their music makes it all the more poignant and beautiful for the rest of us that get to hear their work. (Yes, art is work, in case you didn't know.)
Their debut EP, see you shine, is poppy folk with an undercurrent of modern rock rhythms. The songs range from the snappy "Love Me Again," which is near earworm material, (That's a good thing, in case you didn't know) to the retro-inspired riff of "Medicine," to the last song, "Even So," which is a delicate rendering of the EP's main theme, namely making love work through difficult times.
This is rock 'n' roll as catharsis, the two of them taking turns singing about their faults and desires, changes and love, working together to make beautiful music, and learning how to make things better, and lasting, and full of hope.
Just like they sing on "Good Life": " ...this life is a good life, even though sometimes it's hard," sometimes things are not your fault, but you can't always see that, and it's good to have someone in your corner who understands and is willing to lovingly lend a hand.
The instrumentation throughout is simple yet strong. Just enough ornamentation to get the point across, not too much that it overpowers the songs, or their message.
I'm hoping their live shows are just as honest and intimate as this album, this gives me hope for big things to come for them.
Roy Peak has played electric bass in more bands than he cares to remember for more years than he can remember. He wrote the theme song for the Utica, New York radio show "Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn" on WPNR-FM. His solo debut album, All Is Well, has been called "Loud, cacophonous, and beautiful by a truly unique artist." His short fiction has been published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and he writes music reviews for the King Tut Vintage Album Museum of Jacksonville. Roy writes music reviews for the Rocking Magpie among others.