Stolen Jars | glint
Family Average: 5/7
Somewhere off in the magical land of Montclair, NJ…Cody Fitzgerald is slinging out poetic lyrics into indie jams with the group Stolen Jars. The family had a listen to their EP, Glint ,and the result was a mixture of emotions and analyzations much like the EP itself.
You can listen along and and see what the family had to say.
Stolen Jars is tough band to pin down. This EP’s ambiguity in its genre keeps bringing me back. After a while my general curiosity turned into a more admiration. You can see hints of folk, emo, synth-pop, math rock, all sorts of stuff. It's a Jambalaya folks! Don’t forget about the HOT HOT PEPPERS!
I would say while their playing style is approachable for a general audience it is still a bit unorthadox. First I would like to touch on the percussion throughout the EP. In lou of persistent ride symbols, or crashing cymbals the percussion instead takes on this almost staccato kind of quality. Lots of rim shots, and brushes are placed sporadically through each of the songs. Next there is the guitar on the EP. The playing style strongly resembled the kinds of riffs you would get on a math rock or Midwest-Emo album. Lastly we had these lovely harmonies gently working their way through the music.
All three of these things work terrifically on the EP, and give the band a sound that cuts through the usual business. The EP also does a great job flexing where the band can take their unique sound. Through the five tracks they play off of different iterations of it.
That's all I got folks. Last words I am going to lend are that my favorite track was “Afterlight”. Although it was made more enjoyable comping after everything I heard before. I just think it is a solid synth-pop song.
Stolen Jars is filled up with a whole lot of something I just don’t know what yet. What I do know is that there is A LOT going on in Glint. A lot of instruments, vocals, beats, hooks. Sometimes it almost works sometimes it almost doesn’t.
The genre is hard to pinpoint. Similar at times to RubbleBucket then Peter Bjorn and John’s hit from the early 2000s “Young Folks” kept coming to mind. I am not fully a fan of a lot of what is happening. The concepts for the songs are there, but the drums seem way off and there’s a lot of unnecessary overlap and noise. It’s like hover-boards...I liked the idea but not the execution. But who knows, maybe a hover-board will one day come out that I will be super jazzed about. That will no doubt be the death of me!
Don’t get me wrong, there were moments that it worked; when the instruments were in line and the overlap of all the sounds made sense. Specifically in “Long New York” and “Gone Away”, my favorite tracks by far. They’re not perfect but feel distinct and thought out. “Long New York” also had lyrics too beautiful to ignore. “We were 18, then 35 // You were able then so was I // Drove minutes in cold road light // Till you’d found new love, so had I” —Oooh. It had me feeling all kinds of chills that one.
With some more specific direction, and a little less chaos I think Stolen Jars would really shine. I hope they land on a sound that works for them.
Okay so I appreciate when artists try to break the mold and get out there with their music, mix together instruments and genres in a way that gives them a unique sound. It’s an experimental process, so there’s gonna be times where it doesn’t land well. It feels like Stolen Jars threw everything but the kitchen sink into this album. But without order it’s just a jumbled mess of stuff. Every time I felt like I might be able to pinpoint the direction they were going, they’d switch it up again. It made it hard to keep up or become engaged.
“Elliot” started out as quiet and introspective, with a vocal accompaniment that had that indie twang to it, kind of reminiscent of Matt Nathanson. It felt subtle enough, a wooden xylophone and a few other accompaniments. But then some odd backup vocals came into the mix, and more and more instruments joined in. It might be easier to list what instruments aren’t in this album. At one point a trumpet starts popping up. “Golden Age” shifts things around, evoking a pensive, melancholy energy as the beginning builds up into the main song. But like the one before it, it eventually devolved into something hard to parse. “Long New York” was definitely my least favorite, as it best showcases the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” feeling of the album. The vocals fell out of step with the drum and felt irregular in a way that felt uncoordinated. The male and female singers have good voices, but as they were joined by more backup they were overpowered somewhat. Instruments kept being introduced and then disappearing, I couldn’t figure out what to focus on.
I could feel something beneath the layers though, like the band does have potential. I felt this the most in “Gone Away.” Like if you peel back some of the layers and reveal something more raw and simplified, it could result in something powerful. Like the trumped wasn’t needed for this song. “Afterlight was more of the usual.The slight vocal distortion was new, but it wasn’t really implemented in any other tracks so it comes off feeling detached.
One thing that I would definitely keep is their lyric style. It’s got an e.e. cummings vibe to it where it’s unconventional and the formatting and emphasis is just as important as the words used.
Glint might do better to consolidate their tracks, remove some elements and go over what’s left to make sure it works. As is, this album has too many moving parts.
It feels like Stolen Jars threw everything but the kitchen sink into this album. — Maggie
It's difficult to suss what makes this band sound unique. It definitely follows in the footsteps of chamber / indie / pop rock for sure, but seems to break with the established delivery of such sounds, instead presenting it through some sort of kaleidoscopic lens.
A short EP, each song feels like a vignette; capturing a fleeting moment / thought / feeling. Each second, each sound feels heavy with intention. Immensely layered with a whole lot of textures and sounds, the complexity of the compositions kept my interest piqued. Opening with a quiet note, a subtle rhythm, each song builds into an even more dramatic, intricate score. They do a fantastic job mixing tempered rhythms with more delicate moments of glimmering guitar and airy vocals, juxtaposing and building upon an amalgamation of high and low tones.
It all feels extremely visual and painterly. It's meant to be experienced; It's intent cinematic—like the score to a film that eschews any linear narrative. Overall it's creative and inventive. It's not groundbreaking, but there's a certain charm and romance to the handling that makes for a really mellow listen.