Big Search – Lay of the Land

What’s up people. Today’s music of focus comes from a man you may already be familiar with. If you’ve ever heard bands like Foreign Born and Fool’s Gold, then you’re already halfway there.

BIG SEARCH is the moniker for recording artist Matt Popieluch, who is indeed the lead man in Foreign Born, and who also records with Fool’s Gold. Big Search is more of a solo project for Popieluch, unlike the other two bands I just named. According to the SC Distribution website, Popieluch has been working on and off on Big Search projects since as early as 1999, dating back to when he was still in college, spanning an array of “90-minute ‘albums’ destined for the vacuum of obscurity.” While most of these albums probably won’t ever see the light of day, this one here made it through the process, and it’s called “Lay of the Land”. It’s a nine-track album, spanning just over 35 minutes in length, and it was put out in vinyl and digital format from the St. Ives label – with the vinyl format being limited to just 200 copies, coming in hand-made covers designed by no other than the people behind the music – click the picture above and zoom in for more detail.

Before you jump to any conclusions, it’s probably a good idea to let you know something up front. If you’re expecting this to be exactly like anything from Fool’s Gold or Foreign Born, then you might be a bit upset. Parts of the album here and there might give nods back to Popieluch’s other bands, but for the most part, this album would fall into the ‘experimental’ category. Two of the most prominent songs that would fit into this category would be the guitar and banjo instrumental tracks.

“Banjo Instrumental” (which you can hear on the BS Myspace), is a constantly growing song, with layers of jangly, barnyard sounding banjo. Pretty much the same goes for “Guitar Instrumental” (only it’s a guitar this time), but the reason I even bother saying this is because they’re both genuinely interesting and certainly make for a unique listen – they paint an abstract picture in your mind, but the focus of that picture is up to you, depending on how these two songs make you feel. I think that’s part of the premise with these two tracks, too. They’re included in there to throw you off balance and get you thinking – not about anything in particular – but nonetheless to get some thoughts brewing, either about the music or what have you. Leave some comments on the post and let us know how these songs make you feel, because I’d love to hear your side of the story.

Aside from these two instrumental tracks, there’s still plenty more musical paths to be taken on this record. I’ve left you guys with as many songs as I possibly can, just make sure you check out “French Doors” and “Flyer’s Fall”, which are both equally awesome tracks. The Myspace has even more from the record, so with the exception of a few songs, you can pretty much hear all 35 minutes of this record on the web. And other than that Myspace page and this post on the Styrofoam Drone, I don’t know of any other place where you can hear these songs, so I think that’s what you’d consider to be somewhat of an ‘exclusive’. Oh yeah! So please enjoy, and leave some comments!

Lay of the Land –

French Doors –

Flyer’s Fall –

Guitar Instrumental –

My Rating: 7/10
Genre/ Tags: Experimental, Pop, Folk
Lay of the Land: Tracklist:
1.) That’s All (Light On)
2.) Lay of the Land
3.) French Doors
4.) Grades
5.) Banjo Instrumental
6.) We Know
7.) Flyer’s Fall
8.) Guitar Instrumental
9.) Listen Up, You Understand

Big Search on Myspace
BUY the LP directly from Insound – Limited to 200 w/ hand made covers

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