The Decoration - Anywhere Is Home
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: January 12th, 2012
Despite releasing what I perceive to be the finest extended play of 2008, More Like a Movie, Less Like Real Life with his former band Ellington, Jake Bosci still remains one of the most underrated songwriters at present. From the sweeping chorus, fluctuating keys and alluring instrumentation of album opener "Between Faith and the City Lights" through to the manner in which the closer "The World Through Weary Eyes" transitions from a whispered introduction into a track that absolutely soars with elegance before once again descending into the confines of quiet moodiness; More Like a Movie was masterfully created and evoked only the fiercest and most relatable of emotions out of its audience.
Unfortunately for fans of the Brisbane duo, the band mutually decided on an indefinite hiatus whilst in the process of writing for a debut full-length, resulting in Bosci left with newly written and previously unheard material to record and perform, yet without an outlet in which to do so. Subsequently, he set about forming a gorgeous indie-pop duo with co-vocalist and violinist Rhian Thomas called The Decoration, and with the assistance of producer Matt Malpass (Lydia, Rookie Of The Year, Train) the two ventured to Atlanta, Georgia in order to begin recording their irresistible five-track debut EP, Anywhere Is Home.
If More Like a Movie, Less Like Real Life was a lovely, albeit lonely and vulnerable autumn offering often containing lyrics dealing with unrequited love, four years on, The Decoration's summer oriented Anywhere Is Home is the progression of a songwriter who now radiates with positivity, optimism gleaming within every individual note played and lyric sung, and it's wonderfully fitting that the majority of that happiness seemingly stems as a direct result of playing music that you love to an adoring audience, and that in itself translates flawlessly into the music to give these tracks infectious charm and an abundance of cuteness.
A quality example of the aforementioned comes during the stunning lead single, "Summer Summer" where sweeping piano chords create the ideal opening for Bosci's hushed vocals to enter intimately into proceedings. However, it's not until the chorus absolutely explodes with soaring beauty, pulsating electronic drumbeats and luscious vocal harmonies courtesy of Thomas' lovely delivery does the track reach dazzling heights. The momentum continues well into the third and final verse as those same sweeping piano lines make a welcome reappearance, but this time accompanied also by elegant violins, quickly culminating in the track reaching a cascading crescendo as both Bosci and Thomas sing in perfect, passionate unison, "If we all start rushing to fall in love, then we're all getting closer to feeling the sun / simply sipping on a drink, living by the sea / one day we'll get married and we will be happy".
Synthesizes are prominent from the outset of "Comfortable Life" as the track melodically develops into a compelling narrative with Bosci asking himself the wounding question of "Is it wrong to want something better than this? / like a night where we don't fight and all we do is kiss our problems away". As with all rhetorical questions, Bosci is left searching desperately for the unanswerable, seemingly oblivious to the bridge as it gradually sweeps in and brings with it a change of production technique. For a brief moment the track languishes somewhere between total reverb and dark echoing vocal effects, but yet the listener can still hear the faintest glimmer of violins piercing the thick, dense production. It serves as yet another timely reminder than even when these tracks threaten to be engulfed by irreversible somberness, there's always an indistinguishable light that illuminates the entirety of these five tracks in a glow so rich with positivity. In this case, the violin soon strengthens into a beautiful wail, and the chorus rises to tremendous heights which allows Bosci to somehow stumble upon the answer he never looked capable of finding earlier within the track. "Maybe the only thing you need is a nice little gesture, a kiss and a smile / someone romantic to tell you it's going to be fine". It's a near four minute journey of self-discovery where Bosci, and subsequently the audience, learn that perhaps it is indeed wrong to want for something better than what you have, sometimes you have to first take the time and effort necessary in which to create what it is that you ideally want for it to become reality.
The final two tracks, "Ain't Love Grand" and "Heavy Hearts" stick to the underlying themes of love, adoration and affection. The former may not be the most lyrically sophisticated track you'll hear throughout the duration of the year but it's undoubtedly one of the most upbeat and catchiest moments on the release with both Bosci and Thomas singing with all the energy and enthusiasm they can possibly conjure, "I've got my head in the clouds, nothing can bring us down / please girl, don't wake me now / 'cause I, I want to stay, stay here in bed with you all day". Thomas sounds sensational as her ever present high rising vocal harmonies continually soar over the top of swirling swathes of synth, and although it's enjoyable while it lasts, it makes you at times wish there were a few more verses scattered throughout Anywhere Is Home where Thomas assumes lead vocal duties. Perhaps as her confidence as a vocalist increases, she'll have greater opportunity to really showcase her vocal prowess in future recordings.
If there's an issue to be encountered during the twenty minutes it takes to progress through the five tracks Anywhere Is Home contains, it's the recurring theme of relationships and the cuteness of the lyrics that may potentially tire and alienate listeners looking for a slightly more diverse offering. However, for those who appreciate the art of fine pop songwriting and lovely vocal interplay between male and female vocalists, you'll undoubtedly embrace every individual facet that this EP offers. There are hooks, harmonies and melodies to be encountered on an enormous scale, and perhaps due to his catchiest and most upbeat work to date, Jake Bosci may finally be deservedly on the path to becoming the notable songwriter he so thoroughly deserves to be recognized as. Both he and Rhian Thomas have created an inviting and equally engaging extended play that often acts as a companion. You can take it anywhere, resonate with its infectious optimism and charm even when in the darkest of moods, and such is its replay value that you'll find yourself returning to it and living inside of the world that it manages to effortlessly conjure for the entirety of those twenty minutes. It's a fantastic achievement, and just another reminder that Anywhere Is Home.
Don't ever stop. Your reviews are great and you often introduce me to bands I have never heard of, more so than most of the staff.
Thank you both so much. It's the biggest thrill when people I've never interacted with on the website take the time to respond positively to my reviews and news posts. I hope I can continue introducing you both to some great music!