Any band can be judged by its genre, but it doesn't always reflect its ideas. Duo, male-and-female-fronted Asleep In Transit's debut eponymous EP is bona fide indie pop from Durban, which stands proudly alongside the likes of Holiday Murray, Thomas Krane, et al. But, unlike bands of that ilk, they appear to spend less time wondering what would make them sound cupcake hipster and more pondering life and lyrics.
The result is something you'd expect from the Juno soundtrack, with more production values and better crafted Ben Gibbard-type poetry. Like any good storyteller, they allow the facts to speak for themselves. And, rather innocently, somewhat manage aptly to capture generational angst and drama. Ideas of being young and the emotions that it brings are refracted through the prism of the modern, and the solutions found amidst the distorting reality of the 21st century are childlike, dreamy and whimsical.
A friendly starter
The opening track, Burlington Station, is a friendly starter - an amalgamation of Mouldy Peaches with just touch of token nonchalance, and Clap Your Hands charisma that guarantees radio air time. What the lyrics attempt could initially be dismissed as self-indulgent, but a closer listen suggests that more is at stake.
"Let's go see the world on another night/I'd rather stay at home/These stars shine bitter bright" sings Irina Budzdugan timidly and girly, to which Allister Christie concludes very boyishly: "I'm so sick of all these indoor spaces/Let's sky lights show us traces of where we used to be/I just need to get away."
Despite succeeding imitations in sound, the idea of rock music conscious of the current world advances, without mentioning its ugly name, and condemning it as a disadvantage by merely considering simple human experience on metaphysical terms, is more than just original. Indeed, no matter how far you go in this world, you're only ever one button away from it all. Better you just stay here and dream of far-off constellations. Case in point with Brother, Sister: "If I could see over the curve of the Earth/I'd throw a note higher than the night lit sky/Goodbye moon/I'm sure I'll see you soon/Because the way I see it I'll still be around."
All five tracks are essentially presented like dialogues between a boy and girl. What is ordinary becomes transcendental and gives way to more than what is initially assumed. The five Durbanites have replaced the essential Cape Town cool factor with inherent modesty, seemingly eager for something with integrity.
Johann M Smith is a music journalist turned content hacker. Known as the IDM MAG launch designer, Johann specialises in entertainment, travel and social commentary. Or as he puts it: "I speak as and for companies through social and design."
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