This To That is the debut solo EP by Wilson Getchell, frontman of the eclectic rock band Thirsty Curses. This collection features five songs that aim to showcase Getchell’s songwriting and versatility, “exploring new sounds and instrumentation untapped in the earlier Thirsty Curses work.”
Getchell notes that with his band recordings, the group would lay down tracks the same way they were performed live. “With this project I was able to throw those concerns out the window and just do whatever I wanted.” Normally a guitar and keyboards player, Getchell went ahead and performed all the instruments on This To That himself except for a couple guest spots.
After a single dog bark, the album opens with what Getchell calls a puerile and playful coming of age tune, “Brand New Nintendo.” Getchell further explains that the song “humorously retraces his life's missteps, and ponders the resulting twists and turns.” Musically it begins with a standup piano and Getchell’s expressive, high-pitched vocals. Other instruments follow along including shimmering acoustic guitar, bass and drums. For a one-man band, Getchell really sounds like a studio combo! Guest trumpet soloist Tee Corbett adds some Burt Bacharach-style class to the proceedings.
“This Just Might Take Some Time” is an interesting track where I got quick hits of funk, The Beatles and even jazz-rockers like Steely Dan. It’s a tune with a lot of forward velocity and some nice vocal harmonies as well. Getchell calls this one “a cathartic post-breakup anthem with a banging saxophone solo,” and indeed this song features the first of two appearances by horn player Jason Froeber. Getchell even changes the arrangement to better feature Froeber’s low-pitched, fulsome tone.
Next up is a “toe tapper” (though I’d prefer to call it jaunty) tune called “Trauma Queen.” Froeber is featured right from the top this time, and in fact seems to lead the tune like an orchestra conductor. Froeber’s vocals continue in his friendly, confiding-in-friends style. An especially short tune but a lot of fun. “Fifty Straight Nights” slows down for a folky, acoustic-based song of existential crisis. “I pretended I died, and then woke up again… can you nudge me when it’s over, I can’t stand the blinking lights and all the commotion.” This song has some of the vocal AND compositional qualities of the late great Harry Nilsson.
The concluding ballad “Are You Still There?” is described by Getchell as “an orchestral-ish rearrangement of a Thirsty Curses tune.” It starts with a lone acoustic piano that vaguely recalls the second half of “Layla.” There’s a big surprise when guest Lodge McCammon pops in with a seeming quartet of cellos, giving the track a George Martin-like majesty. You think he’s done, but then Getchell brings every other instrument he’s got into a roaring pop-rock finale. What an ending!
Well, this one started good and just got better and better. See for yourself!
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