Lead by frontman Daisan Stirling (vocals, keys) and accompanied by Caleb Drake (drums, vocals), Greenish is an indie pop band local to Kansas City, Missouri. Guys are quite a new project, began performing in cafes barely in Summer 2019, hoping to generate some buzz in the process. It is though even more surprising to hear that a debut 10-track album Everybody Out ! was released on 20th of September 2019. It’s also the part of the reason why we’ve started to take a listen to this album with a little bit of wary, hoping it was not some rushed project by two indie kids.
Safe to say that the production on the album lacks some polishing, and is undoubtedly a product of indie hands. Guys tried to give it as good sound as it was possible, but sometimes the amateur vibe shines through, even via mistakes so basic like lacking a pop-filter (Paper Grass). Generally speaking, it was audible that better mix/master would do wonders to this project, which by any means does not sound poorly at all. Simply… indie. Which also brings us to the vital question. Indie music nowadays gets such pristine radio sound, that is so easy to belittle any other indie project, and forget that production is just a part of the final note, not the sole of it.
Thus, we’d like to clarify at once. Despite this being a debut project, there is such professional vibe to the songwriting process, that some recording mishaps stopped being relevant after the very first song. Everybody Out ! is pure joy to listen to. This is an absolutely stellar indie pop album, entertaining as hell. Honestly, it’s been some time since we’ve heard such galore of sounds and ideas put within one album in such a mature manner.
A Ballad to Stupid Liars is, by all means, the perfect intro to the whole album. Very rocking start, at once grabbing listener’s attention with colorful instrumental full of additional choruses, synths, guitar riffs, and crafty songwriting, also including waived piano elements – showing in a summer-style of what this duo band is capable of. Guys are not afraid to experiment on the album with different moods and instrumentation, adding whatever sounds right for the moment. Just take a look at the autotune outro in Hello Jericho orcertainparts in Keeper of the Salt, made just to make an emotional climax even more meaningful. Same with the simple background rain sound in Flying Whale, which adds the gentleness and crafty vibe, making us feel like we are indeed a sailor on the never-ending sea.
Everybody Out ! is a project asking the question of the point of making music at all, question that is asked so often by any band (Art is Nothing Except for Most Things), which culminates in conclusion (“The thing is, umm- about music: It’s about creating it for yourself / And enjoying it because you like doing it”). It definitely seems like guys from Greenish had a lot of fun creating this LP.
Daisan Stirling’s very distinctive vocals were brought to our attention at once. Sometimes, combining them with the instrumental Greenish reminisce strongly of bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Panic! At The Disco (with their Pretty. Odd. album), other times with the folks of Beirut (Paper Glass), with the more subdued parts followed with the simple background choruses. Overall, It’s hard not to be impressed by the ability in which Stirling shifts, e.g., from ballad-like intros to the indie-disco party culminating in the jaw-dropping falsetto (The Hypocrite’s Ode or Hello Jericho). No matter if the song tends to be more fast-paced, or fully ballad-like (Flying Whale), the versatility of Daisan’s vocal axis is something that listeners will certainly appreciate.
Word of lyrical appreciation is needed too. As guys at Greenish mentioned to us: “We aim to speak to the youth and express the many thoughts and struggles of today’s generation with a balanced mix of colorful imagery and biting satire.”
Hard to not agree with that statement, when songs like Dropout Joe – a colorful escapade, experimenting with a stronger pop-electro motif is blasting in our speakers. In times of terrible student debts, that concludes in not getting the job anyways, Greenish is a voice of millennial rebellion (“Don’t go to college / That’d be stupid / You’ll be alright / But you’ll lose your mind”). Guys are not afraid of brushing the topics of religious bigotry as well (“Are the Lord’s own two hands not enough for you? / What if you’re broke on the side of the road just like Mr. Joe? / Yeah, he was a Christian too, you know / He could have everything and still be miserable”)
The whole album concludes perfectly with the song title that seems to be very apt for the entire concept of Everybody Out ! Greenish takes a stand with a stadium-anthem Bold, summarizing every question about the life they had (“Once when you were suffering / You found yourself alone, yelling at trees / And there’s fear in your eyes / Turn your head to the rising sun / And like a child, be bold”). Even the question asked in the experimental interlude Art is Nothing Except for Most Things about the purpose of making art at all seems to be clarified (“I’ll go on / I’ll be strong / Life’s a song about you/ And I’ll be bold now / And I’ll be bold for you)