Earlier this year when Heartbreak City by Apex Manor was released, we felt like it was one of the strongest returns from a band that went away too quickly. There’s a structure to the music that Apex Manor makes that reminds you of the craft that songs were given regularly twenty years ago before click tracks became common use and before there were more than a handful of Guitar Centers. Now ahead of a new run of tour dates, Apex Manor has release Blueprints, a five song drop of demos and outtakes of songs that either made the album or didn’t. What you’ll find is that even in the demo stage, Apex Manor is making music on a level that’s above most without leaving listeners behind.
The way that “Chosen One” comes in, it has this sound that’s its own while utilizing multiple instruments to create a symphony of tone. The vocals blend well with the mix bass and guitar with an underpinned piano that you’re drawn to the overall sound. While “Morning Light” actually made the record, this version is very different in how it plays out. The same could be said about “actual Size,” as this version pulls away from the electronic notes and heads closer to a heavier and murkier tone, where chaos intertwines with rhythmic speed. Though the closer, “The Long Goodbye (Alt. Version)” may be the clearest example of how strong Apex Manor is at arrangements. This version strips back the heavy chorus and snarling distortion for a more acoustic sound. The song is the same, yet the approach is the complete opposite of what’s on the album while Apex Manor proves that great songwriting is where every good song begins, as this version is as likable as what’s on Heartbreak City.
Blueprints can be purchased digitally in all online music stores and Heartbreak City can be picked up physically from Merge Records and streamed on all streaming sites. Apex Manor will be on tour starting September 10 at 40 Watt in Athens, GA until September 14 at Globe Hall in Denver, CO. His new run of dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Lisa Whiteman.