For Now's First Album Delivers Genre-Transcending Social Commentary
As the title suggests, For Now's full length debut album Elsewhere takes listeners on a rocket trip through space, time, and beyond. Although the Denton-based band is rooted in improvisation and jazz fusion, the compositional elements, intimate lyrics, and ear-worm melodies veer towards the realms of singer/songwriter, contemporary classical, and even pop music.
However, defining genre doesn’t seem to matter much to For Now, because after all, good music = good music. And Elsewhere is definitely not just good music - everything from the production and arrangements to the overall musicianship of the record is so masterfully and tastefully done that one would not assume that this is their first release.
All 11 tracks were penned by bandleader, vocalist, writer, visual artist, and hat-wearer, Isabel Crespo. She explains that “the title of the album refers to a non-tangible place removed from reality, a state of mind that consumes you, prevents you from being here or there, and takes you ‘elsewhere.’”
Along with Crespo, For Now is currently made up of guitarist Skyler Hill, pianist Ben McDonald, bassist Mike Luzecky, and drummer Jonny Harmon (album personnel varies). Each member of the collective contributes their own unique voice to the record, creating a cohesive, dynamic, and powerful sound that can take the most intimate of musical moments to soaring new altitudes that will leave you breathless. Elsewhere is filled with memorable melodies and lyrics alike. Crespo’s understated yet unyielding vocal delivery powerfully addresses misogyny and racial stereotypes in two of the most stand-out songs on the record, "Caught in a Double Bind" and "On Color," in such a poignant way that compels listeners to question why and how these harmful stereotypes exist in the first place.
For Now’s music serves as social commentary even in songs with no lyrics. “Consider Rerouting,” a fiery track with an extreme sense of urgency, was inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protests at Standing Rock regarding the pipeline’s intrusion of clean water and multiple Native American tribes’ sacred burial grounds.
Elsewhere is not only an auditory adventure, but a visual one as well - Crespo created vibrant and thought-provoking collages to accompany each song on the album, serving as a tour guide to better "convey the meaning behind each composition" to listeners.
For Now will be holding their album release show May 24 at Dan's Silverleaf, and they also have a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their summer tour to 14 cities throughout the East Coast. Elsewhere is a powerful genre-defying record that is sure to take For Now’s budding career to new heights!
Header image courtesy of Emilio Mesa