Aer – Self-Titled
1.) Spades, Clubs & Diamonds
3.) Won’t Laugh
4.) Says She Loves Me
5.) I’m Not Sorry
6.) Whatever We Want
7.) Pretty Lady (Around Me)
9.) Above My Floor
10.) I’m With It
12.) Movin’ It
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: January 21st, 2014
Record Label: Aer, LLC
Official Website: Aer Website
David von Mering and Carter Schultz, formed Aer in Wayland, MA, combining rap, reggae, pop and indie rock aesthetics to create their own brand of music. The duo’s first two mixtapes, Water On The Moon and The Reach, were released in 2010 and 2011, and Aer unveiled their debut EP, What You Need, in late 2011. The EP landed at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart. The Bright Side, followed in July of 2012, earning the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Albums chart and working its way into the Billboard’s Top 200. Music from the album has appeared on the NFL Network, an Etnies advertisement featuring Ryan Scheckler and three episodes of MTV’s The Real World.
I have no idea how this Boston duo, so young in their career, has managed to sound, not only so polished, but also so uniquely soulful. After multiple listens it became very clear to me that that AER is a band that has used its influences to actually create an original sound, rather than a variation of the same old thing. Aer’s self titled release is packed with catchy hooks and great lyrics that are delivered with skillful timing that avoids pretension and hits with authenticity.
Aer took indie, hip hop and reggae rock influence, mixed them all up together and ended up with some of the most relatable and radio friendly songs I have heard in a long time. I heard Reggae, Funk, Trap, Hip Hop, Pop and Doo-Wop, all playing their part in this creation. David and Carters vocals complement each other so well harmonically and stylistically, that sometimes it is like the 2 voices make up one instrument. This has to be attributed to their long time friendship.
Although there is a ton going on in these songs melodically, Aer does not over-complicate the music, leaving just enough space to give these songs a hard hitting groove. On top of the excellent song writing, the production on this album is also very well developed.
When I heard “Won’t Laugh”, I was sold on this band. I played this song over and over again and have to say it is my favorite on the album. Content wise, there is a very mature humility to this song that can be compared to the writing style of Slug from Atmosphere. This song is the perfect mix of all of the styles that are influencing this album. I kept thinking the hook was a nod to the Coldplay Hit “Clocks”.
“Says She Loves me” shows the lighter side of the band and almost has a 50’s pop influence, while
“I’m not sorry” digs deep into the darkness hinting at reggae with a heavy rolling bass line, acoustic guitar and synths.
“Whatever We Want” and “Pretty Lady (Around Me)” could stand strong as singles and I’m sure will be fan favorites, while “Above My Floor” mixes Reggae and Trap pulling in a Dirty South influence with the top of the verse sounding like something you could find on a Dirty South Joe Mixtape. “I’m With It” and “Movin’ It” are more funk influenced Hip Hop tracks, placing a little more emphasis on live instrumentation.
I can honestly say that Aer is going to have an amazing career that we will all be hearing about as long as this duo continues. There is not a bad song on this record, and at the same time there is something for everyone here. It is great from start to finish & people may dismiss this album because of its pop sensibility, which would be a mistake. Aer’s artistry & talent runs deep and I heard it beaming out of the speakers with this self-titled release.
Written & Reviewed By: Tommy Dubs (of A Sunny Place For Shady People)
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]
Watch: Aer – “Says She Loves Me”