Being stuck in one place is something that everyone goes through. It’s typically not a good feeling. It’s like there’s this longing for moving forward into the future. An idea that was popularized by western society. There’s now this constant yearning to always be productive and always be moving forward. This creates a sort of self-hatred when you’re unable to do so. It makes you feel like you’re the one to blame, when everyone gets stuck there sometimes. Monotony in itself is difficult, but that mixed with the constant drive to move forward holds you back even more. It’s discouraging. Green Suburban’s debut EP ‘I’ does a great job at taking the listener through the emotions of experiencing this sort of stagnance. And it does this through amazing musicianship that isn’t afraid to be bold and work with a variety of styles. There isn’t a single instrument that doesn’t get a spotlight at least once. Green Suburban has a way for pulling out each sound and bending the music to his well. The guitar solos all hit so right, the bass has the perfect slap, and the vocals work with a lot of technicality. There are so many different vocal tones that require very specific vocal skills to pull off. ‘I’ is such a display of eclectic and skilled musicianship. It’s an EP built from four tracks: The Desert Song, Misinformation, Lazy Days, and Tuesday Blues.
Desert song is such a great opener for this EP. Green Suburan’s bass down strums hold such a percussive power that builds up a tension and longing for the rest of the music to break through. It does this by bringing the drums in to start, carrying the listener forward and then using long held bright guitar notes. Then the guitar breaks through with a powerful rock sound. The vocals also sound reminiscent of folk punk with the strong higher toned singing. ‘Desert Song’ closes up by giving the guitar the spotlight. The playing is super technical and well played, and it truly pulls the focus straight to itself. One thing that this song does, which carries on through the rest of the EP, is dynamic musicianship. No song is too repetitive, and the instrumentation shifts around all throughout each track. There’s also such a diverse range of influences displayed throughout.
Misinformation shifts the energy down a bit to start off, with a really smooth guitar line. The effect on the guitar adds such a spacey vibe to it. This track does a great job at portraying a lot of Green Suburban’s vocal skill, which meshes perfectly with his fantastic guitar playing. The vocals are spattered with really nice riffs that jump around. Green Suburban also sings in a way that sounds like it’s a mix between belting and falsetto. He just hits those high notes with such a distinct power. Singing along with the guitar sounds was a nice touch, and it’s not the only time he’s weaved his voice/instruments into sounding at least a bit like another instrument. It’s like he has no boundaries with how his music is made. Sometimes the voice is part of the guitar, and sometimes the guitar is a part of the percussion. Misinformation also makes great use of sound panning. The synths have a light experimental sound, and it moves around the listener’s ears to really draw them in. This is where you can hear quite a bit of Green Suburban’s psychedelic influences that he developed from being in other bands.
The way the music bounces around throughout ‘Lazy Days,’ has such a sluggish sound to it in the best way. Listening through it feels like being in a strange lazy stupor. Yet again the effects over the guitar perfectly fit into the track. The bass line has a simplicity to it that really stretches its dark tones out in a beautiful way. The vocals in this one stand out as unique from the rest of the album. He works with a lower and more somber tone. Even the belting hits notes in a lower tone than the other tracks, but it’s still so powerful and well sung. Green Suburban just has such a nice vocal range, both in pitch and musicality. The drums carry a really nice beat, holding the song at a nice steady pace.
‘Tuesday Blues” doubles down with the bouncy sounds as it starts up. The way the bass bounces up and down can be found across a few genres, but it pulls a pretty jazzy sound to the track. It weaves its way around the music perfectly. This track also feels like it takes more rock influences than the previous tracks. The guitar solo near the end is so crisp and throws the listener straight back into the time of classic rock, when guitar solos were even more of a focal point than they are today. It has the perfect energy to close this EP up on. There’s such a driving power, which contrasts the lyricism of the EP that explores the idea of stagnance. Though the lyrics from ‘Tuesday Blues’ tell the listener that happiness is unattainable, the music still feels so forward driven. It suggests that maybe even though life remains stagnant, there’s still this drive to keep pushing forward.
The lyrics in ‘I’ seem to tell the story of someone caught in stagnance. Unable to find their path or even move forward. ‘Desert Song’ opens up with exploring the idea of purpose. It openly asks the questions, “Have I lost my way? / Is my purpose gone?” It also opens up with a line about spending “forty five days in the desert sun,” Which could be a metaphor for the exhaustion of labor. ‘Misinformation,’ is a song about the ability to trust information. It says that you can’t trust the papers, what’s on T.V., or anyone with a Ph.D. This is something that hits so hard today, as it’s so hard to trust anything the media states. This can hold you back, because it’s hard to know if what you’re learning is true or completely correct. This moves along into the track ‘Lazy Days,’ which really drives in the point of stagnance. It explores living a life without being able to move forward, even when the want is there. It’s such a feeling of longing. Consistent lazy days can happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe it’s mental health, being stuck in a monotonous job that doesn’t pay enough, or maybe it’s apathy (which this track delves into just a bit). The lyrics, “I’m tired of living like I’m not alive / I want more with my life than / To just get by,” do a great job at summing up a lot of the feeling behind ‘Lazy Days.’ The final track ‘Tuesday Blues’ is about a blind man asking someone for help. He’s searching for something important. Happiness. But, as the song states, “They’re looking for a place that’s never been seen / They’re looking for a way to find their dreams / Isn’t it true? / They look a lot like me and you.” This implies that being blind isn’t just about being unable to see. It’s also a reference to being lost in a way. Unable to seek happiness or find purpose. Suggesting that it’s just like “me and you” implies that as people we can’t seek happiness. It isn’t something that can be looked for and obtained in some specific way.
Indie rock artist Isak Skoglund is the mind behind the musical project Green Suburban. He has been a guitarist for numerous bands since the time he was a teen, but he’s just released his debut EP under the name of Green Suburban, ‘I.’ He’s previously played in psychedelic rock bands, which has quite a bit of influence on the music he creates today. It’s super original, and this is only one of the genres in the canvas of his musical ability. He also takes much inspiration from indie rock such as the Arctic Monkeys, and some of his sounds are reminiscent of Cage the Elephant. He utilizes unique vocals which change to different tones throughout his music, and it all has such a beautiful and eclectic production.
Written by Sage Plapp