ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT FOLK SONGS OF CANADA, VOL. 1, LABEL FANTASTIC!
It’s hard to write a song, as it involved the combination of two skills that take years to develop and then having to figure out how each piece sits together to create a greater whole. I can see why Livingston would look into different ways to get the job done.
Artificially Intelligent Folk Songs of Canada, Vol. 1 was written by a computer, or so Livingston claim. I’m not saying that they are lying, but actually, they are lying a little, seeing as how they have a cover of “Take It Easy,” retitled as “Take It Easy But Take It to the Limit,” for some reason.
Supposedly, their algorithm takes a selection of Canadian folk music and mathematically reshuffles them into original words and melodies, and then the band takes that skeleton and fleshes it out. Livingston do make a computer’s words sound like their own, but that makes me wonder how much of this album showcases the computer’s functions and not the talent of the band.
But this doesn’t matter; the only thing that matters about this EP is the music. And the music is only original and interesting half of the time and mediocre the other half. The best tracks are “I Am a Weary Immaterial Labourer,” “S/He is Like the Angry Birds” and “Winter is Cold and Good,” as all these tracks hit the sweet spot of simple layered instruments, vocals fitting the music, and lyrics that push the indie sound forward while being rooted in classic folk tradition. These tracks create a nice mix of new and old.
The most interesting thing about this album is the way it was produced. Once you get past that, you get some good tracks mixed with a few bad tracks and an Eagles cover.
By Kraig Brachman