Free and legal MP3: Ace Reporter (mesmerizing & melodic)

A paean to sheer melody, “Untouched and Arrived” is lean, shiny, and compelling.

Ace Reporter

“Untouched and Arrived” – Ace Reporter

A paean to sheer melody, “Untouched and Arrived” is lean, shiny, and mesmerizing. There is no fat here, no distracting complications. A straightforward rhythm guitar strum introduces the song, then disappears. There is one verse melody, repeated twice in each verse, and one chorus melody, repeated four times. A semi-bridge is constructed from the repetition of the title phrase, previously employed in the chorus. And that’s really all we’ve got here, and if it’s somehow enough, that tells you how strong these melodies are. The song engulfs me; it is pure pop at its most intoxicating.

“Untouched and Arrived”‘s silvery conciseness may be due to its unusual birth story: Ace Reporter mastermind Chris Snyder spent 2010 writing, recording, and posting one new song every day. He called it the threesixfive project, and however he managed to do it, he emerged at year’s end with an impressive cache of songs to mine for future recordings. “Untouched and Arrived” appeared on day 75. While the production has been altered from the original version, the song is pretty much intact. I can imagine if one is in the middle of writing a new song every single day, for an entire year, there would be limited inclination and/or energy for undue fuss and complication. Snyder had a killer tune at the end of the day, and he resisted the urge to mess with it.

You can hear a few dozen of the threesixfive songs on the project’s web site. They are surprisingly engaging, and I say that as someone suspicious of any kind of song-a-day gimmick. In 2011, Snyder made four EPs from the threesixfive material. The debut Ace Reporter full-length album, Yearling, likewise drawing from the 2010 mother lode, was recorded last year and will be released in February on the Brooklyn-based label Ooh La La Records. Thanks to Magnet Magazine for the MP3.

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