Raven Hollywood - Pretty Ugly
It is no surprise we love new music at DMM. After all, this is a music blog...but it's not just that. This is a special place to learn about the creatives in the Seattle area. In our reviews we hope to introduce you to your next favorite act and if that doesn't work at least you were tickled by our writing team's clever words and passion for the music they are writing about. This week's review comes to us from Seattle native Raven Hollywood.
Raven Matthews. Raven. RVN. No that’s not right...ANYWAY the way Raven has changed his name countless times is a hilarious metaphor for the music he shares with his loyal fanbase. Once you venture through the name changes and discography you somehow understand Raven’s rebirth with his name again and again and again. Like Raven Hollywood’s own music, you don’t understand what hazey dream you are stepping into and then suddenly everything clicks with your eardrums. Just take Raven Hollywood’s latest project, Pretty Ugly, a thoughtful piece with 5 lonesome songs that explore the emotional needs and wants of people and how Raven copes with his own very real cravings.
The first track "Tina Fey" is filled with coping mechanisms that we find ourselves routinely doing to battle the manoitne of days that mimic the same old song and dance. One might even say it’s a clever jab at Tina Fey’s comedy, though hilarious and well timed we know what’s coming. So “Tranquilize the day take a few again -call up sugar man ” if you have to face the day at least you’ll medicate yourself to keep it interesting or you’ll have this tune playing to keep you entertained. Pick your poison wisely.
Almost each track on Pretty Ugly uses a classic sample you’ve heard before. Putting you in this nostalgic zone unable to recall the lyrics you feel you should know. With tracks like “I Miss My Girlfriend” and "Bar Scene" you find yourself mindlessly singing along to what feels like a quintessential song you’ve known and loved for years. You have to dig a little deeper for the true meaning behind these tales but if you’re open to exploring the pain of past actions, you’ll find yourself not only enjoying the tracks but healing.
“Pretty Ugly” is a piece reflective of sobering thoughts including moments of sheer pain as you stare longingly at your surroundings. People aren’t clever, the bar scene in the places I onced loved now suck, I miss my other half terribly, I'm a fucking degenerate and I’m sorry. Thoughts we all have whether we bury them deep, write them out or stand vulnerably like Raven Hollywood does. These casted doubts and realizations that the world around you isn’t as shiny as it used to be is a common theme in Pretty Ugly. What makes it special is that even though these bad thoughts linger around in our heads constantly, Raven throws in sampled production to make these thoughts seem less scary than they are. Seemingly pointing out that no matter how bad it is out there at least there’s a friendly tune out there to make the universe bearable.
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