Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra make studying easy

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By Ryan Asselin

Like most people, I go through phases where I am more interested in a particular music genre than the others. The past few weeks, my schedule has been stuffed full with work from my classes. Therefore, I have been listening to a lot more music that I classify as “study music,” which essentially is anything soft and not too distracting.

After the release of their acoustic “Space Jam Session” on YouTube, Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra immediately found their way onto my iTunes library.

“Full Body Yawn,” one of the two songs performed in the session, is easily the best song off of their 2014 release “Well Soon.” A self-reflective sing-along, “Full Body Yawn” questions every aspect of the personal thought process and what the protagonist has been doing with his life.

The band plays an assortment of strings and percussion throughout the entire album, relaying positive vibes, regardless of the lyrical tones of the song. Although I have been listening to the album mostly while studying, “Well Soon” can be featured on a playlist for any mood.

Aside from Walter Mitty, my iTunes has predominantly been playing “Aware,” the first album from Front Porch Step. Singer-songwriter Jake Mcelfresh, better known as Front Porch Step, plays songs of failed relationships on almost every song of the album, but each piece has its own sound.

There is not much complexity in the guitar chords throughout the songs, either, but his unique voice creates enough variation not only to distract, but also entertain the listeners during the entire album.

The production of the album, on the other hand, is very entertaining. The acoustic guitar and emotional singing create an almost live-music experience through the speakers.

Sappy and depressing, energetic and entertaining — it isn’t every day that a musician can capture both sides of the spectrum so thoroughly throughout an entire album.

“Well if I ever cross your mind, make sure that you write down the times, so I will know the moments I was eating you alive,” Mcelfresh sings on “Drown,” truly portraying the tone of the album.

Much like Walter Mitty and his Makeshift Orchestra, Front Porch Step can be enjoyed regardless of the mood of the listener.

Through high highs and low lows, busy days and lazy Sundays, music is always there to soothe, heal, encourage and empower. I consider myself lucky to have finally found these bands, just in time to get me through midterms. Looking them up helped me make it through my exams (although barely), and hopefully it’ll help others survive school, too.

Download Walter Mitty’s music from: http://waltermitty1.bandcamp.com/.

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