Kevin Schlereth is a certified dude. His existence strides the line between nomadic and genius. He sports a bushy mustaches and wears dad hats and red shorts. Along with compatriot Jay Costlow, and with the rest of the Schlereth clan in tow, this musical collective is rarely in stasis (save for the past few months). They’ve become known for their relentless touring, seemingly-endless connections, and tight-knit, living room performances. Musically, the experience is a bit singer-songwriter and a bit indie rock. Lyrically, the crew draw their influences from New Testament Scriptures.
Alembic aims to be a multi-media collaboration with Danielle Monzelowsky – six songs paired with six paintings. Sometimes the songs were inspired by the paintings; other times, the paintings serve as visualizations of the songs. Ultimately, the collaboration element feels minor (at least at this point) – the paintings haven’t been highlighted very much and the background stories aren’t too prominent. That’s not to say it’s not a powerful concept, but the promotion was fairly subtle.
Nonetheless, these six tracks are still formidable as a musical collection. The songs explore prominent New Testament stories (such as Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Matthew 12), highlighting these themes with tender-yet-dynamic arrangements. “Talitha Cumi”, even in its short form factor, is upbeat and captivating. “Sabbath Work” is another highlight track.
Ultimately, this is a pretty compact release – only 16 minutes long – but there’s not much for wasted space. These are brief songs that don’t take much time to breathe, instead moving forward with full-force. Some of these tracks are arguably highlights of Schlereth’s catalog musically, and lyrically they’re seeped in timeless truths. Check out Alembic on most digital platforms.