I remember back in high school when I first heard The Black Giraffe, one of Dylan Balliett’s first music projects. The show was at the American Legion just blocks away from where I live in the small town of Marietta. It was a great show, packed with a lot of great bands. The Black Giraffe was one of the first bands on the bill, and I remember being completely blown away, specifically by the two songs 2:24 and Goodbye Jones.
On November 15th of last year, Balliett released What We Will Be, his debut album for Spirit Night, his first solo effort. When talking with Obscure Sound he described the album as a kind of fractured autobiography of his life in Morgantown, where he went to school and also where he spent his time recording. In various bedrooms and bathrooms around town Dylan recorded everything but the drums for the project.
When Dylan released the Normal EP, wvrockscene noted: ’Normal picks up pretty much where What We Will Be left off, musically and emotionally.’ When I asked him the story behind the continuation and transition from What We Will Be to the Normal EP he told me:
“I didn’t intend for it to be a follow-up to What We Will Be but I realized the other day that it totally is just another step in that same direction. I think the title track sums up pretty much all of the ideas present on What We Will Be in less than three minutes. It wasn’t intentional. I guess I just have the same things on my mind still.”
Having been a fan since the first recording of 2:24, I asked Dylan why he decided to redo the track. He told me that he first recorded it when he was 19, and since then he’s redone the track three times. He mentioned he has never ever been as satisfied with any recording of it until now, and the learning process that has come with rerecording older songs.
“I think the fact that I was able to recreate that song three different times and finally get it to be what it was in my head at age 19 means I’ll be able to more easily get songs right off the bat in the future. I understand what I was doing wrong now.”
The EP is really solid, Dylan lol’d at the fact that it started out as a “concept ep” about being normal, and how it took him the better half of a year to release it because of so many changes being made. From the defining title track opening with ‘Someday I Will Be Normal/ I’m Pissing In The Sink Like A Champ’ to using his voice as an instrument like Jeremy Jay on the closing track The Weather, the ep maintains relatively the same mood throughout. In my opinion Final Days has a little bit more upbeat-optimistic feel to both aspects of music and lyrics. There are more recordings from The Black Giraffe currently in the works, including Goodbye Jones, which I’m definitely excited to hear. I feel like I have more to say, but you should definitely check this one out, give it a few spins fully through and let us know what you think. I’m excited to have this on the blog, and excited for the jams on the way from Dylan Balliett.