People intrigue me; meaning people as a collective race, a species. I love to see what makes them tick, what their passions are, what their art is. I love to dig around, observe, and find that spark that hangs out somewhere in the right brain that makes magic. When I popped in a c.d. soon to be released by local artist, Aaron LaFalce, I was in the mood to discover. I wanted that hunger fed, and wanted to know what the combination of voice and instruments would say to me. Within minutes, they spoke volumes.
I was already intrigued by the album’s title, Kairology. The Latin-rooted word refers to divine moments, instances of revelation occurring at precise times. I love this so much because this is how I approach my art of writing. I wait on the “ah-ha” moment to arrive, and that’s when the energy comes to me, eluding writer’s block,, and writes on the tablet time itself has reserved for the words. Aaron LaFalce handles his music much the same way, which accounts for the broad range of styles and subject matters heard on the album.
When I heard the first track, “Girl’s Best Friend,” I thought, o.k., this guy has a Reggae sound. It wasn’t forced at all, like he set out to be Reggae, but instead a mood that I assumed would dominate the songs to follow. Often times artists have a specific sound that doesn’t vary much. However, this turned out not to be the case.
By the time I made it to “Don’t Give Up,” featuring the soft and beautifully juxtaposed voice of Shannon Whitworth, I sensed a pain of sorts. It was a hopeful pain though, a little brighter than traditional soul, but still yearning. I thought of the incredible band, The Civil Wars, at this point. I heard heartache being pulled from a chest, clawing with sharp edges as it escaped. But, I stress again, I heard an optimism that can only be a reflection of the writer himself, and it was organic…nothing coerced.
I made my way through the songs to the final track, “Whistleblower.” I immediately heard an unchanging rhythmic movement, trucking along, conquering rails, headed for a destination. A low voice invaded, with a tone that could sever steel. Was I hearing Johnny Cash? No, I was experiencing the lower range of Aaron LaFalce. I kind of half-laughed out loud, not out of taunting, but amazement. Was the guy with the initial Reggae influence, followed by a little soul, now channeling this authentically Southern-influenced sound? I do believe he is. My naturally narrowed eyes probably grew to the size cue balls.
I said aloud, “This guy sure does wear many hats.” However, I wrong. I actually envisioned him taking off and putting on different colored hats, representing different genres and elements, all of which I heard. However, I realized, it wasn’t many hats. It was one hat he wore, one he wears everyday I’m guessing. It is a single hat made of many ingredients, sewn by varied events in many seasons. That hat is a colorful one indeed…and it’s real. This man didn’t set out to be a master of many kinds of music out of left field. I dare to say it found him, latched on, and took.
It’s clear that Aaron LaFalce has the soul of a homegrown Southerner. His mother may not have carried him in the womb, but instead dug him up out of the Earth like a garden potato. It’s also clear he isn’t all the way soft, because times of heartache kept it from him. However, in the deep parts, I’d say he’s more soft than jaded, because I can smell a natural zest for life trailing out of the c.d. packaging. He’s felt it all, and offers a chance for others to feel it with him.
I hope everyone gets the chance to experience Kairology in the way I did. Let those moments find you, the ones that represent the ever-changing seasons that eventually build a life. It really is an art that in retrospect tends to be beautiful. Experience for yourself, and let Aaron LaFalce help crack that place open.
Go to http://www.aaronlafalce.com for information on the release party on Friday, November 1, 2013!