By Caleb Oldham
Comfortable is often synonymous with familiar. When I want to feel most comfortable I put on the Beatles and I imagine that it's raining outside and that there's carpet under my feet. "Goodnight From Channel 2", a recent release from an Ann Arbour recording artist called "ivebeenleo", makes me feel comfortable. Like a good Beatles' song (a little redundant) these songs seem simple but upon closer inspection are composed of genius little parts that make up the whole. The lyrics are self-assuring - a reminder that everything's going to be okay: "You're not alone," sings Leo on the first track "Mantra", and a little later: "You're in the right place". Even the album title itself sounds like something you might be used to hearing right before you drift off to sleep.
At its strongest Goodnight From Channel 2 sounds like a harmonious sonic blend of chorus-drenched guitar, jazzy drums, and melodious bass. For a self-recorded musician the sound quality is excellent. "Music made in a bedroom doesn't have to sound like it" writes the artist on his website. Even though I love lo-fi more than I probably should, Leo's recordings almost come as a breath of fresh air in an age when lo-fi can be as calculated a move as auto-tune.
In a recent Op-Ed by Grayson Haver Currin the music critic states that we often overlook good music simply because "we’re looking to latch onto a narrative hook or the simple feeling of newness that we can share". Ivebeenleo's Sound Cloud description says he's "forgoing a sensible career in medicine" - not exactly clickbait - and his music doesn't necessarily sound new, but an album's value doesn't solely reside in its innovation, and it certainly doesn't mean we should overlook a brilliant album like Goodnight From Channel 2.
Listen/Download to ivebeenleo here: http://ivebeenleo.bandcamp.com/