There are several elements that make the Working Memory EP, “Searching” great. Layered vocals, shimmering, vibrant instrumental swells, and at times hopeful, yet yearning lyrics are all present throughout their assured indie-pop flavors. Working Memory sound like a quintessential modern act, with an air of togetherness that feels especially vital right now. But then that is not surprising, as Working Memory is made up of brothers Casey and Ryan Chanatry who have shared a musical synchronicity since the mid-80s. Between the two, they’ve experimented with the trumpet, recorder, violin, bodhran, and keys, before Casey landed on guitar, and Ryan on drums .
Ryan initially found success in the late ‘90s Phish cover ensemble, Logic, as well as lost to history super group, Sexual Mullet, while Casey founded the Ohio & North Carolina based jam band, Jahman Brahman, touring the US for more than 10 years playing major festivals. Working Memory is their first time together as a unit, and they have created a beautiful, immersive musical world, produced by Cody Fitzgerald, and engineered by Anthony Thogmartin.
The ebb and flow, from more straightforward songs to more complex and textured compositions, gives the EP “Searching”, its internal rhythm, before reaching its conclusion with the title song. Despite the themes of loss and loneliness, Working Memory seem intent on searching for all the beauty of the world in and around them, and using that energy to craft richly textured, gloriously beautiful music that’s as personal as it is universal.
If the lush walls of sound and ear-pleasing melodies in “Searching” is a means of masking the fears and doubts that lurk underneath the narratives, they work splendidly, and serve as a genuine expression of hope. As compelling as it is groovy, the opening track, ‘Witness’ is steeped in hip-swaying rhythm, as it searches for resolution. It oscillates between a catchy melody and a vibrant beat, finding comfort in a sense of equilibrium.
The EP flows effortlessly from one song to the next, leading quietly into its natural point of conclusion. ‘Hold On’ is far-reaching and thoughtful in its composition, from the sweeping vocal arrangements to the reinvigorating jangle of Casey Chanatry’s guitar. On the whole, Casey’s guitar is as delightfully rich and refined as you could expect from a consummate musician. Casey often lets his beautiful voice soar all over the EP, cutting through the delicious sonic layering of each track, with enchanting melodies.
Working Memory’s deep dives are not just lyrical; the music is also chock full of dense idiosyncrasies, as can be heard on ‘There’s Light’. The track is nearly perfect in its execution, and it’s endlessly beautiful in its sound. Taking on intricate melodies and harmonies without losing any immediate impact, the shimmering guitar and the lush vocals come across in resonant and shining motifs. This is a dynamic track, that improves on Casey and Ryan Chanatry’s already impressive songwriting accomplishments in every way.
The EP closes with the title track, ‘Searching’, which again shows that Working Memory are always able to imbue their unique sound into whatever arrangement is being spun. The harmonies, featuring Emma Jayne are never more than a hair’s breadth away, and are as gorgeous as ever. Driven by an odd time signature and a gradually building intensity, the track mixes indie-pop sensibilities with traces of artsy psychedelia. Working Memory keep the sound bristling; there is never a dull moment.
Throughout the EP, the lead vocals are commanding yet never overindulgent, while the lush backing vocals are sure to give you goosebumps, adding an additional color to the overall sound. Musically, “Searching” shows superb musicianship with stellar harmonic progressions and awesome arranging. The lyrics are absolutely marvelous too. All of which will definitely catch your ears.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/searching-ep/1632343944