TRACK REVIEW: Ages and Ages “I See More”

Ages and Ages

If you’re in need of a soundtrack for your revolution, look no further than Divisionary, the sophomore album of Portland “folkadelic” seven-piece Ages and Ages.  It’s part concept album, part inspirational how-to guide for disillusioned souls intent on bucking stale, prevailing attitudes. “The songs on our first album, Alright You Restless, described a group of people leaving a selfish, destructive society for a place safe from the madness… wanting to establish new rules and a language to put some distance between themselves and the noise outside.”  explains bandleader Tim Perry.  “As the group faces the struggles of actually making their community work, reality sets in and things get more complicated. Divisionary details the second phase of the journey.”

The album is out March 25th on Partisan Records, and so far the band (who consider themselves more of a musical “collective”) have released two singles.  The latest of these is “I See More”, an infectious little ditty that could put a lift in nearly any downtrodden soul.  Stomping percussion, lively acoustic strumming, and group harmonizing give the track a Satanic Panic In The Attic-era Of Montreal feel.  If the tune is rousing, the lyrics are downright uplifting; while Perry sings “Spread out your losses / it’s part of the process / really it’s okay / I’ll be on your side” five other Ages players back him up harmonically and spiritually.

Though it’s certainly not overtly apparent (and never dogmatic), the band does have spiritual influences; Perry spent ten days on a silent meditation retreat during the conceptualization of the record.  That calming influence is deeply felt on lead single and title track, “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)”. Sonically, it typifies the band’s easy going but restless energy, with sweet strings and hand claps fleshing out the melody.  The words are sung almost like a string of mantras: “Do the right thing, do the right thing / do it all the time, do it all the time / Make yourself right, never mind them / Don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering”.

While the lyrical content is especially edifying, the messages here would be hard to parlay and might even sound heavy-handed if not delivered in such a carefully crafted, edifying song structure.  Everything feels so organic, and it’s hard not to be moved by the folksy rhythms that underly Ages and Ages’ bold mission statements.  Perry says it best – “These songs reflect optimism, but they don’t do so lightly or try to dodge the struggles we’re dealing with individually and as a band.”  Divisionary is sure to be a complex but invigorating listen.


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