The Value Set! EP is a standout release from Chicago-based artist Andrew Schneider, whose music channels a blend of chamber-pop, art-rock, and sophisti-pop. First catching our ears with the track “Hideaway” last month, the EP continues that effort’s blend of stylish production and melodic songwriting, exuding both vibrancy and lushness within its expressive production.
“Opportunity” is a fitting opener, fully embracing the release’s knack for tonal variety and captivating structural ingenuity. A dizzying mixture of psych-friendly guitars, hints of strings, and plucky orchestral movements concoct an expansive opener. Thereafter, Schneider’s debonair vocals and a steady piano-fronted backing entice with an approachable appeal. Subsequent sections stir, from the ruminating string-laden “take your opportunity,” rise to the intro-beckoning intensity. This is an opener that excites with its blasts of creative energy.
Another standout, “I Could Be Better” fuses ghostly guitars alongside a serene vocal push. The lyrics engross in capturing a sense of self-betterment, even if that equals being “someone else.” A French Horn infusion adds well to the timeless-sounding mystique and contemplative lyrical prowess. The emphasis on words and vocals is striking, with the instrumentations scaled back compared to more excitable efforts. “Wealth On Display” is certainly exemplary of such vibrancy, ending this stellar EP with an effervescent, spacey brightness. Andrew Schneider thoroughly impresses with his Value Set! EP.
“Opportunity” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of July 2023’ Spotify playlist.