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  • Tom H

Safari Room | Time Devours All Things (new album)

Nashville-based Safari Room, the indie rock outfit and brainchild of Alec Koukol, releases its new album, Time Devours All Things, an engaging and very personal musical voyage with its seeds coming about directly after the band's second album, Complex House Plants, was released in mid-2022. "I was ready for more music and to continue laying down new songs," Alec recalls. "I wasn’t sure where the next album was headed, but I felt like I had more - or new things - to say. The well was far from dry."

While working closely with producer and creative confidant Cole Yepsen during the album's formative period to bounce song and demo ideas off him, Alec moved from an intense period of working closely and constantly with his bandmates to a new definition of Safari Room that involved some important and difficult conversations. In Alec's words, "It's something that has my face on it, it is something that at its core is mine. It's my baby, but it's more than that. Consider it like the ringleader of a musical circus. It's a 'village' of great friends and brilliant musicians that are driven to make something magical happen with Safari Room's music and beyond."

The underlying theme of Time Devours All Things deals with the dissolving of relationships, paths in life and time, necessitating a firm foundation of self and an acknowledgment of what is within one's control. At the end of the day, as Alec comments, "Time devours all things. Good and bad. Terrible and beautiful. For better and for worse."

Time Devours All Things is a stunning listen, with deep, personal lyrics, infectious riffs, and impressive songwriting. Accompanied by Austin Drewry (drums, percussion) and Chris Collier (guitar), these ten captivating new tracks come to life. At its core, Time Devours All Things is about acceptance of self and embracing what we have no control over. "There is beauty in change, and our endurance through it only makes us stronger," Alec remarks. "If all good things come to an end, all bad things must also."

Time Devours All Things kicks off with "The Great Outdoors," a solid, energized opening track about "coming out of my cage" and deciding to immerse oneself in the world rather than feeling stuck and living a bystander/observer existence. The upbeat "Broken Things" is about moving on from a relationship that's ended and no longer being lovers - or even friends. The lyrical theme of "Blunderbuss" ponders those who put faith in a stranger in life, "hoping that they might be our fire escape."

Two of the most touching and poignant tracks on Time Devours All Things are "You Are a Ghost" and "Crease in the Blinds," both featuring Alec's powerful, soaring Radiohead-like vocals over stunning, gorgeous melodies. These are two clear standout tracks.

"The King" is a fierce, edgy rocker that reflects upon current politics, with charged lyrics, "Get a load of this guy, he's back inside the TV ... he thinks he's the king." The repetitive chant at the end of "Groundhog Day" is a perfect musical complement to the song's lyrical theme about trying to change and make things right, but realizing it's Groundhog Day every day - nothing changes and things don't look better in the morning. "Strength to Stand" encourages throwing away the pain one holds, not letting it tear apart your soul, and allowing one's heart to be carried until you have the strength to stand.

While the entire album is outstanding, my two favorite tracks are "A Promise To No One" and "Phantom Limb." The production and overall soundscape on each song is crisp and balanced. Alec's heartfelt, soaring vocals come shining through with warm guitar riffs and top-notch songwriting on each track. "A Promise to No One," a reminder to take chances, explore life and embrace change, takes off big time 38 seconds in with its powerful Eighties-sounding riff that introduces the song's infectious chorus. "Phantom Limb" is filled with strong, powerful harmonies while pondering losing one's sense of self by always pleasing someone else ("I don't know who I am ... If I don't have you, what do I have? ... I'm so lost without my phantom limb.")

Safari Room recently recorded video performances of a few of their songs at Chicago-area music production studio, DZ Records. We leave you with the studio performance of "A Promise to No One," produced and filmed by Ben Arguelles and featuring Alec Koukol, along with Chris Collier (guitar), Austin Drewry (drums), and Hunter Mulkey (bass).

For more information about Safari Room, visit the band's official website, follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and listen on Spotify, Bandcamp, SoundCloud and Apple Music.

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