Think of the last time you took a moment to truly listen to a song. To pinpoint each instrument's distinctive tone. Each voice's pitch. The chord progressions. Tuned into segments of harmony, or caught a perfectly-placed, dissonant note.
When was the last time you contemplated the lyrics of a song?
Edward Appleby, from Mobile, Ala., cultivates a brand of music meant to entice reflection among audience members.
He'll be performing alongside Henry Armbrecht, better known musically as Beach Weather, on Aug. 16 at the Sentient Bean as part of a regional tour they have "somewhat jokingly" named Quiet Music with Awkward Boys.
"As the tour title suggests," Appleby said, "We play music that is more on the quiet side, with an emphasis on introspection."
Search for Appleby's "Magic Kingdom" EP series and Armbrecht's "Cascadia" EP and experience how their music mists, rather than pours, upon the eardrums.
"Our music may not overwhelm anyone with volume or energy, but we believe if a person is interested in actually taking the time to listen, it will be rewarding," Appleby said.
Beach Weather's influences, such as Sigur Ros, are evident, but Beach Weather doesn't alienate the listener as the more famous band's esoteric style can. Appleby's sound evokes comparisons to Sufjan Stevens or an upbeat Bon Iver; differences lie in the ideas Appleby explores. His "Magic Kingdom" series focuses on various sections of the Disney park and themes associated with each section. Appleby's songs examine Disney's "vision, imagination and ... use of narrative to make aspects of the park (even specific rides) come to life."
IF YOU GO
What: Quiet Music with Awkward Boys featuring Edward Appleby and Beach Weather
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 16
Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
Cost: $5 suggested donation
The type of show music aficionados can expect may best be described as mellow, but not passive. You may have to whisper to the person next to about how much you enjoy their sound, rather than strain your vocal chords.
Of Beach Weather and himself, Appleby said, "We both happen to be introverts who believe something can be gained from the easier-to-overlook things in life."
They are not surprised their music doesn't grab everyone's attention or that they are often overshadowed by more extroverted contemporaries. The Awkward Boys will definitely not set the stage alight in the way current pop and pop-rock bands ignite like solar flares yet burn out just as quickly.
Being "recording first" artists can make for inventive transitions to the stage, but both performers utilize electronics to retain a similar sound as their recordings. Admittedly, recorded songs and live shows are as dissimilar as a movie and the novel from which it was adapted.
"Ultimately," Appleby said, "It's a balance of trying to be true to the songs while not being too precious about the original arrangements. The experience is about capturing an essence, if you will."
Despite growing up in the same city, Appleby and Armbrecht met just this past year. They have backed each other up, instrumentally, in the past. The Bean show, however, marks their first sharing of the billing.
Although the state of modern popular music may not be in their favor, they probably prefer it that way. Let others kick up dust and blow off in the wind while Appleby and Armbrecht roll in like a cool front and thicken the air with the moisture of the moment.