As I was reviewing music, I found myself getting a bit disheartened after hearing a lot of the same laid-back, ethereal sounds. I liked it, but there was a part of me that wasn’t satisfied; something about it that was making me bored (and this is coming from someone who can listen to Debussy all day long). I knew it wasn’t the slow pace of the music, it was that somehow the chill music that sounded so great, at some point started to sound apathetic.
No, I didn’t think everyone should be raging screamo or dubstep re-mixing everything, but I did search for songs with passion and feeling. I was looking for emotional momentum; a good sound paired with a real power.
Enter, The Restoration.
The Restoration is a concept band from Lexington, South Carolina, headed up by native southerner Daniel Machado. The band seems to be very well-named, as its vision goes beyond just making new music, to incorporating genres that have been under-appreciated in this generation and introducing them as prominent players in their sound.
Like musical antique dealers, they have the ability to see the value in different types of music and know exactly where it can fit into the present. The strong vocals and the use of a wide variety of instruments creates a sensational musical experience.
Yet, perhaps the most compelling thing about this band is the story that propels their songs.
The Restoration’s album, Constance, comes paired with a 47 page book, a historically based fiction that tells the story of a family in Lexington, South Carolina between the 1800s and 1930s. This band is not just about restoring overlooked music genres, but also about restoring an understanding of the history of the American South. A story is nothing without a conflict, and there are many to be found in the history of the South that The Restoration does not avoid or sugarcoat. In fact, their material has been deemed so historically relevant that it has been included in the curriculum of literature and history courses at a local South Carolina college.
The Restoration has musical variety,creative songwriting and powerful vocals. However, I am most excited about this band because of how their project is birthed out of a deep-rooted love for its subject, the American South. Through facing the facts of history, there is opportunity of a type of redemption and reclaiming of it. These are not musicians simply writing from the inspiration of an ever-changing mood. They are committed to start a new discussion on the land that they love, and I don’t think there’s danger of that ever sounding apathetic.