Bucolic Distortion. A lover’s Indian Burn. An Arctic Sun Tan. Aan’s music is both mordant and gorgeous. It is the product of a boy’s lust for companionship, isolated in the rural confines of a backwards Continental Divide. Aan is the music of someone whose love of love is ever apparent, but whose fear of it is just as strong. What comes from that love and fear is something original, modern, and brutally honest.
Aan’s Portland, Oregon home has been the band’s sonic forum since the fall of 2006, when songwriter Bud Wilson first started recording under the bedroom moniker “Amor Ad Nauseum”. As the songs tightened and enriched, it was necessary for the outfit to expand in number. Finally in 2008 it was realized and Aan was a three piece, incorporating layers of instrumentation and embracing modern mediums.
The trio shares duties on myriad music makers; Texas transplants Reese Lawhon and Mica Rapstien take turns drumming, plucking and picking. Between the swells and low-end synthetic bursts, rich vocal harmonies abound between the boys, queuing likenesses to certain animal- based modern avant-pop groups. Somewhere in this mix of maligned sexual impulse and unrestrained infatuation there is love and vulnerability.
“I Could Be Girl For You” EP is Aan’s first official release. The EP was recorded at Type Foundry Studios in Portland, Oregon with engineer Jason Powers (AU, Mountain Goats, Microphones) in the first few days of 2010. It was mastered by Timothy Stollenwerk at Stereophonic Mastering.
The EP is five songs with two vignettes hidden in the negative spaces between tracks. The work opens with “Wet and Dripping”, a murder ballad inspired by infidelity. The songs’ howling multi-tracked vocals burst over angular guitars, organ grinder synth colors and scissoring hi-hats. “Heart is the Ocean” follows quickly with a similar intensity, but spans out across electronic washes and searing guitars. The track is six minutes of textural exploration and concise pop.
“TOY” is an affront to complacency in domestic relationships. The song bounces across minor chords and snapping snares, confessing addiction to a love that doesn’t work. “Mable” takes on Appalachian finger picking and rhythmic complexities, with vocal harmonies threading the dubby bass line. “Sunday” rounds out the EP in a jungle of birds and guitars. The swirling tune might give the listener a feeling of being lost under the canopy or setting a picnic near the Amazon banks.
“I Could Be Girl For You” is focused in its intent: to allow the listener to explore areas of pop music through a filter of emotional experimentation.