Perspective and circumstance shouldn’t have a bearing on musical perception, but it does. The initial listen of Falcon’s self-titled EP warranted a good but by no means stand-up-and-shout review. However, after learning of the backstory to the Falcon legacy, things fall into place and what on first glance is run-of-the-mill shows itself as extraordinary.
A blind listen to the Falcon EP yielded notes that were generally favorable but had an overall want for growth and sophistication. There was promise in tracks such as “The Sandfighter”, which had instrumentals that strove to be epic a la Appleseed Cast & Explosions in the Sky but didn’t quite get there. “Birds and Mice” felt a little Snow Patrol-y, as did “Listen In” when it strayed from the rather interesting combination of darker claps, kick beats, and bass drops. Departing a little was the decidedly 80s feel of “Q of T”, featuring a smooth bass line and hooky chorus. Rounding out the EP was the early indie sound of “Bees”.
After taking it all in, I read Falcon’s bio to familiarize myself with them a bit. The story of their formation and what the EP really is struck me and gave me a new outlook on what I’d just heard. In short, all of Falcon’s songs were written between 1987 and 1988 by a fourteen-year-old prodigy (Jared Falcon) and recorded onto a Fischer-Price tape recorder prior to his death from spinal meningitis. Twenty years later, a couple of his former classmates and their friends (including members of Longwave) took Jared’s songs and gave them new life.
In a new context, the songs take on a new shade. They aren’t good because they were written by a fourteen-year-old – that’s not it. It’s the fact Jared Falcon was able to anticipate so many styles and sounds that work long after he’d written the last note. It’s also not that Falcon (the band) has zeroed-in on a moving story – it’s that they managed to take acoustic recordings two decades old and make them something palatable and relevant.
Jared Falcon wrote “You only feel right when you’re alone,” but in the case of the Falcon EP things feel right with his friends.