Broke For Free: Gold Can Stay

a0356717352_10These days it seems we’re all killing time until the holidays. It was the first lazy weekend of many to follow another end of a semester, so I bought a 1000 piece glow-in-the-dark puzzle to occupy myself. It was one of those panoramic photographs of New York City at night where every window is lit up red, green, yellow and orange, underneath a navy sky. I wondered how many of those rooms were void of human presence when the photo was taken. Wasted energy, but then, would the photograph be as interesting with all the lights off?

I decided to listen to Broke For Free’s latest four-track EP, Gold Can Stay and sat down at my puzzle. I pressed play and blam! A guitar sweeps down, starting the album without any sort of hesitation. Already I’m thinking this is a nice place to be, made of very pleasant, soothing guitar riffs bouncing-off each other. I imagine being inside one of those empty office buildings with all the lights on and nothing happening. Then all of a sudden, the place changes when those big, crisp, almost sluggish two-step beats come in to magnify a too-cool-to-be-true bass line; setting the tempo for my nodding head, putting me in that lucid state of relaxation as I walk down the night streets. Now the city has been frozen in time, everyone caught in mid-step. It’s just me and the music now…

Enjoyable for almost any setting, Gold Can Stay is a tripped-out walkabout with tasteful in-your-face beats, exciting sounds, interesting audio samples and cool guitar loops played by Mark Edwards. I’ve got nothing bad to say about this album; it has everything I want and with each track, I’m left thinking the same thing: “Oh yes, this is it. This is what I’ve been waiting for…” 

What stands out about this instrumental production is that the repetitive nature of each tune is complimented by well-thought-out changes of scenery, like the reversed guitar melody in ‘Budding’ that seems to gently float across a wide plain. It has just the right amount of glitch-hop, trip-hop, chill wave, and experimental elements all woven together into a sound that’s fresh, clean and above all, feels good… 10/10

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