If one is looking for an uplifting collection of tunes to brush away the cobwebs of winter and welcome in the first birdsong of spring, then playing “Weekends” by PacificUV is not to be recommended. That is not to say however that there is no place for the music that the Athens, Georgia duo of Clay Jordan and Howard Hudson has produced on this their latest release.
Opening with a dissonant, plaintive “Friday Night Dream” the scene is set for the dream like narrative that runs throughout the album, the lyrical inspiration of which is drawn from the idea of a disintegrating relationship. “Funny Girl” is upbeat and brisk, the lyrics themselves are sparkling and upfront, and the tempo is infectiously danceable. The mood darkens somewhat as “Just4Kix” gazes down into the soul, and “Baby Blue” forces the listener into a state of melancholia which questions the sentient being of even the most cynical critic.
“I’m Here (But It’s Not Me)” rides, reasonably, happily on a driving bass line and bubbling synthesiser lines, while “Ballerina” uses vocoder to create an intermission from the introspection, with a solid dance rhythm line, and the phrase “turn your sadness into sound” as a mantra for the forlorn listener.
“Friday Night Dream” returns in the form of “Saturday Night Dream”, and the narrative continues. There is an epic quality to “High” which utilises mournful strings scattered across a landscape of drones to produce a flamboyant and colourful, and, yes, inspirational mood change. As the listener continues on this rollercoaster of emotions, and marvels at the highs and lows, “Be My Only Shallow Love” raises the tempo and disposition again with electronic lines and angular riffs supporting the recognizable desolate vocal style.
The weekend draws to a close with a “Sunday Night Dream” before “Unplug Me” with its sinewy lines over synthesised vocals and austere slabs of alien drone, lulls the listener back into a state of self induced brooding. But as the listener finally comes to realise their role in this sequence of events, the tape grinds to a halt, and we are left simply wondering.
It is an accomplishment in itself to carry the listener through a tale such as this, with its extremes of sentiment and contemplation, without ever breaking the cohesion that holds the storyline together. With any number of guitar delay pedals and discreet vocals, each piece is like a photograph of the emotions. Despite a number of differing techniques, “Weekends” may very well be the template for any number of us who have ridden the relationship storm.