FERMATA – Through The Distance and the Dark
Fermata is a new band formed out of the recently rekindled musical relationship between guitarist Jon Koschoreck and vocalist Sara Weiland. Despite the band’s freshness, they harbor no shortage of zeal, getting themselves out in front of numerous audiences and to enthusiastic reception. Fermata’s music is a blend of acoustic and electric tones and somewhat complex song structures that deviate from redundant verse-chorus patterns with some success. Melody is crucial in Fermata’s music and Weiland is especially prominent on vocals.
Through the Distance and the Dark is a six-song EP that succeeds in highlighting the promising songwriting abilities of the band. It also highlights some of the rough spots, however, particularly in the arrangements. The EP is a self-produced affair and in this regard Fermata could have benefited greatly from professional production and an independent ear. This is an easy thing to say about a fledgling band, one that can likely ill afford expensive studio time and professional production. Yet there are production basics here that are sorely lacking. What Fermata probably has here is a good demo, but these results are the travails of understanding the recording environment. The band did have the foresight to seek mastering from DNA Studios; a smart move, but handing the mixing chores to the pros would have been even smarter.
That said, there are moments of inspiration on Through the Distance and the Dark. “The Black Key” has momentum and is reminiscent of the Motels, the toy piano lending it a distinct eighties feel. “On a Clear” has a pleasing acoustic sentiment and the addition of French horn is a nice touch. Guest vocalist Nicky Mazur adds some effective vocal harmonies. The album’s best track is “Silent City.” Here the band comes closest to achieving synchronicity among all the parts; the tension builds and releases nicely, the lyrics are gothic and intriguing and the bridge doesn’t sound forced.
Fermata leans toward the light, meaning that they tend toward beauty. This is a quality in short supply and the band deserves credit for being bold and attempting to paint in detail. Hopefully they will continue to experiment with their colors but should also closely examine the surface on which they create.