All artists dream of the day they release their debut album. For up-and-coming artist Bedon Lancaster, this dream is now a reality with the release of his debut indie rock album, "Morning." Memphis, Tennessee native and former Starkville Battle of the Bands winner, Lancaster is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.
Bedon said his love for music stemmed from the church he went to as a kid, Redeemer Presbyterian, where his dad was a preacher.
"I attribute my entire love for music to the church…The people who played there are the best musicians I know," Bedon said.
Bedon has worked on this album for a while now. He traveled to Nashville, Tennessee any chance he could get to work with executive producer Adam Lochemes. In fact, the house shown on the cover of the album is Lochemes's house where they recorded the entire album. The two finished the album in December and polished it up for its Jan. 24 release.
Bedon's content on this album is relatable in a refreshing way. He focuses on how he has changed, grown and matured from his past relationships.
Tristan Peavy, a good friend of Bedon and a student at Mississippi State University who works for the student organization Music Maker Productions, felt this was true about the album.
"He does a very good job of capturing the emotions that come from relationships in college," Peavy said.
On the song "Untitled," Bedon sings, "Baby, baby, look how we've grown into two completely different souls of our own." A lot of the lyrics on this album exhibit the confrontation and resolve of past relationships. The vulnerability he displays allows the listener to connect with him not only as an artist but also as a person. It gives the listener a sense of security as he or she can relate and share the emotion he lays out on this record.
The use of vocal variation on this album is tremendous. Throughout the album, very effective vocal stacks are used on Bedon's voice which adds a beautiful layer to the tracks; however, on songs like "Magnolia" and "Blue 1," he uses extremely raw vocals evoking raw emotion. It allows the listener to really feel what he is saying, not just hear it, adding to the vulnerability of the album
In some points on this record, Bendon utilizes vocals while not necessarily saying anything. At the end of the opening track "Birds," there are very rich vocal stacks of him simply singing "Oooh-oh." These serve as an amazing resolution to the first track as well as a transition into the album he is presenting to everyone. The use of these vocal variations attributes to his immense artistic ambition.
In terms of the soundscape, Bedon progresses from sounds of sorrowing gloominess to sounds of hopeful joy throughout the album. The sounds he exhibits transition very well from track to track while still not sounding mushed together, like one big song.
There is a very diverse sound palate for each song yet they all flow very nicely altogether. Most songs contain melodies from an electric guitar, but there are a few acoustic tracks with simple yet very effective drum patterns. He also incorporates the saxophone, trombone and trumpet. The occasional trumpet horns on the opening song "Birds" create this subtle sense of richness to start the album. There are spurts of only instrumentation containing blends of instruments which coexist wonderfully.
The diversity of soundscapes on the album showcase his creativity and artistic ambition. You have tracks like "Untitled" which gives off a vibe of people dancing at a nineties dinner party. You also have tracks like "Magnolia" which sound very sorrowful. Overall, the soundscape of this record sounds very intentional and extremely polished. Lancaster spoke about the creative process of making the album.
"The album could have been released sooner, but we allowed it to mature over time by implementing a larger scale of production and experimentation, especially with synthesizers," Lancaster said.
With this record, listeners can feel the artist's emotions and Lancaster's love to express them through music. The album's content and the sound he and Adam Lochemes created, blend well. The musician allows the listener to go inside his mind by the display of vulnerability throughout the album which is part of his biggest goal with this debut.
"I want this album to affect someone the way music affects me…I want it to become a part of someone, not just me," Lancaster said.
He lays out a part of himself to share with everyone because of the feelings he displays and the artistry he has developed from a love for music which stems from the church he went to as a kid. "Morning" was an album which, in hindsight, was very long in the making but well worth the wait.