Sober Season was created in Barcelona, Spain by two childhood friends – José Valle and Max Mir. They jokingly started to play metal to create a project for their Spanish class, but after realizing metal wasn’t their genre, they kept creating songs until they found out folk-rock was more of their thing. While watching a Talent Show they met Olivia de Rezende and invited her to join the band, thus completing the Sober Season lineup – José Valle (Lead Singer, Lead Guitar, and composer), Max Mir (Drummer, pianist, and co-composer) and Olivia de Rezende (Backup Singer).
Sober Season, who has already been on radio stations, performed some live concerts, and taken part in festivals have released their debut EP, entitled “You Fool”. It contains 3 songs taken from personal experiences dealing with the darker side of life, which touch on themes of depression, breakup and loss. Cerebral and observant, Sober Season emerge polarizing from the outset.
Their mellow and deep acoustic sound will captivate legions of ardent followers, and capture the hearts those who like whip-smart lyrics and have a keen ear for inventive, but gentle melodic structures. They will no doubt gain a certain critical and commercial capital that will allow them to blossom artistically at an organic level.
The band’s knack for universal connectedness, replete with personal lyrics will help them come to terms with a broad audience without cheaply pandering via immediately digestible song cuts. Throughout “You Fool”, songwriters José Valle and Max Mir delve into intimate subject matter with a tender pathos. On the opening title track, they focus on depression and suicidal tendencies, producing a collection of reflexive verses.
The number achieves a deep emotional wallop, knocking the wind from your sails as a picked guitar and thumping bass line ushers in an affecting lament on the ephemeral nature of existence, deftly avoiding being ham-fisted on a lightning-bolt-charged theme. The track also features an intensely soulful electric guitar solo.
“Paper Tears” rolls in on ingrained ambivalence and a mantra-like bassline with a decidedly rhythmic acoustic strum that swells under the powerful vocal swirls care of José and Olivia, setting a delicious template for their style, and the topic of compassion for someone who has suffered a breakup.
“Grey Day” cuts to the marrow of just how significant music can be when well-versed in pop’s rich lyrical and emotional vocabulary. The song which talks about losing someone – in this specific case, a mother – is never maudlin or slushy. In fact the beat is up-tempo and brightly arranged, leaving the song’s more somber tones to the lyrical content.
Clearly Sober Season are forging a distinct path across these songs, defining their alluring acoustic sound. Whether “You Fool” will be a great critical triumph or a commercially rewarding recording is something what will be discovered in time.
But maybe a decade from now, listeners will be discussing this EP in rarified breath as the start of something big for Sober Season. For now, it’s an engaging recording that gets better with each listen, a present-day anomaly. It’s the sound of a band unafraid of being different and taking chances, succeeding more often than not.