“hoping it stays just this broken”
September 25th 2007
After listening to this record over and over again, I have concluded Immovable Objects has committed musical acts of nearly if not completely perfect proportions. It would be a shame if Matt Gagin, the orchestrator and creative force behind Immovable Objects, peaked in his career after only his first track off a debut record, “hoping it stays just this broken.” But these are the risks one takes when one decides to open strong instead of saving the best for last. Beginning with an ideal accumulation of pleasing bell beats, Raindrops in Morning Traffic introduces Gagin as an upstart who is certainly destined for greatness. In the most respectful way possible, I feel this song is directly related to Yes’ gorgeous song Soon. There is no mistaking the similarity in the beautiful vocal sensitivities of Jon Anderson and the female vocal arrangement that bursts through, fashioned with metallic and washed out guitars. The song builds upon itself with an excruciating sadness tempered with sober contemplation, resulting in one of the most artful and attentive constructions I have ever heard.
Fortunately Immovable Objects continues the record with a series of intricate shoegazing songs that legitimize the boundless nature of the first track, substantiating the extent to which Gagin has developed not only his writing abilities, but also how he conceives his music in relation to the songs themselves. While he has said that he never meant to write this record, it was indeed Gagin’s ability to delineate a very cohesive and complimentary set of songs from what might have otherwise been an unassociated and incongruent heap of shoe-goo trash that allowed “hoping it stays just this broken” to be presented with such confidence.
Like the slightly uneasy experimentation of various Icelandic bands or Canadian post-rockers, Immovable Objects utilizes dynamic and textured melodies juxtaposed with noises that ascend the tonal scale, heightening the tension and increasing the ultimate payoff when they are finally released in a wall of beautiful sound. It also seems that Mr. Gagin has learned a few lessons from My Bloody Valentine. The prime importance of atmospherics is shared by these two bands, along with other environmental disciples such as Chicago’s Airiel. The drum sequencing throughout the record is sharp and never incompetent or excessively demanding. I would suggest Immovable Objects contact Jimmy LaValle and schedule a tour or collaboration, because while Gagin’s work is not identical by any measure, he would interface extremely well with The Album Leaf.
Gagin is said to have perfect pitch and a knack for an unmentionable number of instruments. While this may be true, it is certainly not central to the thesis developed by “hoping it stays just this broken.” Gagin was injured as a child resulting in an abnormal yet formative ability to recognize pitches produced by household vacuums. While this is a skill that has its advantages in identifying a physicality or structure in music already made, it does not necessarily contribute to an artist’s ability to hear or internalize the sounds that ought to be made. Who knows what relationship Gagin’s perfect pitch has to his vision for Immovable Objects, but I would say that his heightened perception is not the sole secret to his success. This attribute originates from a creative center and is expressive rather than impressive.
I am very pleased with “hoping it stays just this broken.” It shows that the music’s creator not only knows how to execute his design, but also how to enlist contributors to provide a denser flesh and a thicker blood to his vision, intended or not. When Gagin arrives in New York, I will certainly attend his show to see how his music translates from plastic to staged passion. Successful or not, Immovable Objects is an unrelenting testament to the importance and relevance of individual creativity. I anticipate that Immovable Objects will have much more to contribute. I for one encourage others to pay attention.