How Will I Know If I'm Awake

MA 071CD MA 071CD

The Marina label presents the debut release from Athens, GA-based Brent Cash. Sounding like a lost sunshine pop classic from the '60s, How Will I Know If I'm Awake is overflowing with hook-laden choruses, multi-layered vocal harmonies and lush, sophisticated arrangements. It's the sound of endless summers and good vibrations. From the start, multi-instrumentalist Cash decided to record his songs like "they did it back then," hiring the best musicians in town and assembling a mini-orchestra featuring strings, brass and even a harp. The results are simply stunning. From the opening chords of "Everything That's Grey," we enter melody wonderland, a place where major 7 chords rule and beautiful vocal harmonies dazzle your mind. "Digging The Fault Line" is full of Byrds guitar jangle, sounding like the perfect soundtrack to cruise into golden California sunsets (with a great Wes Montgomery-like guitar solo along the way). "Only Time" explodes with 100 % fat-free youthful euphoria -- Roger Nichols meets The 5th Dimension. While deeply rooted in '60s songwriting -- influenced by Bacharach, Wilson, McCartney, and yes, The Monkees -- Cash certainly has his own unique signature style. Just listen to "And Had We Ever?" and "I Think I'm Falling In Love" -- with its complex, enchanting textures, ignoring conventional song structures. "Love Is Burning Down Tonight" -- a striking duet between Brent and Amanda Kapousouz -- is a special highlight of the album, while "Good Morning Sunshine" could be the theme song to the best TV series in the world -- the harpsichord-driven piece is chock-full of amazing twists and turns of melodic beauty. "This Sea, These Waves" moves us into bossa nova territory -- starting off in a classic Getz/Gilberto mould, the song soon morphs into heavenly orchestrated Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 elegance. "More Than Everything," clocking in at over six minutes, ends this beautiful song circle with a great final statement about overcoming heartbreak, delivered with the sincerity of a Carpenters record. Music made the way it was meant to be heard.