Music Review //
Thomas Charlie Pedersen
"Employees Must Wash Hands"
(Karmanian Records)

One of the immediate things I like about this album is the title.  Growing up, I was always taught to wash my hands after I use the bathroom.  I was always kind of confused by that idea of "Employees Must Wash Hands" because whether you were at work or just stopping off to use the bathroom on a roadtrip, it feels like you should be washing your hands regardless.  On top of all of this is also the fact that the recent pandemic should've made it more aware that everyone needs to be washing their hands more.

The music of Thomas Charlie Pedersen ranges in styles but always manages to stay within the melodic.   Overall, you're going to hear The Beatles but this is also quite a vague way to compare things.  "Oh, Whatever" has these great acoustics while "Slow Passage" feels a little bit like Fastball.  It's just the way that the songs take these trips through different genres, but they're bordering genres so from song to song it doesn't really stray too far.

"Rains On Saturn" opens up with these big keys and strings, which also come out in other songs as well.  On "Coarse Rasp Of Yore" you can hear the title of the album being sung and then "Mass In D Minor" goes off into that deep bass sound, almost like Tom Waits.  By the end of this album, with the song "Worry Beads", the overall feeling begins to take a spiritual turn as if we have transitioned from songs to mantras.  

Many of the songs sing about what the titles say- "You Can't Have It Both Ways" for example- and this reminds me of Elliott Smith.   This entire album though has this way about it where it feels like it's familiar- it's some sort of melody you've heard before- but at the same time even with the lyrics it is just dead set on breaking new ground and I think that feeling of comfort within the unknown is what I enjoy best.

"Employees Must Wash Hands" releases on April 14th, 2023.  Stay tuned for an updated streaming link!


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