A look back at The Almost’s “Southern Weather”
Appreciating Aaron Gillespie 10 year anniversary of “Southern Weather” draws near. | last.fm
Aaron Gillespie is best known for his drumming for the acclaimed post-hardcore band Underoath. Gillespie’s side project, The Almost, began 10 years ago in 2007. “Southern Weather” marked the band’s debut album. Gillespie recorded almost the entire album himself, recording each instrument, apart from the bass, on a couple of tracks. Gillespie experimented by venturing away from his main band and trying his own thing. Even though Underoath was not involved in this album, their influence remains in the music.
A hook-driven performance
Obviously, Gillespie is at his best sitting on the throne of a drumset. “Southern Weather” provided a chance for him to prove his creativity and skill apart from the drums. The bass and guitar riffs are not anything special—this record is more about the vocals. Gillespie focuses less on on the technical side of the music and more on simply making the album fun to listen to. Each song has a catchy chorus that I often find stuck in my head after listening to the album. This album is full of catchy and fun melodies—that is where it excels.
“Say This Sooner” is the standout track of the album. First released as a single, it underwent many name changes before reaching the final version in the album. It starts the album off with a powerful kick. The heavy and hard guitar riffs set the tone of the song, giving it the really energetic feel that makes you just want to bob your head. The drums keep the song moving forward at a fast tempo with hard hitting passion and energy.
A personal touch
Apart from “Say This Sooner,” the standout tracks are “Dirty and Left Out” and “Amazing, Because It Is.” Gillespie works on blending the album’s alternative rock genre with Christianity. “Dirty and Left Out” is a deeply personal song about the love and mercy of God. It even borders on worship music, with the bridge taken straight from the classic worship song, “There’s Just Something About That Name.” “Amazing, Because It Is” is actually a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” the famous hymn by John Newton. Gillespie does not shy away from weaving his Christian faith with his music, a quality that is even felt in his work with Underoath. This gives “Southern Weather” a personal feeling.
This album is fun and entertaining with great melodies. However, the album does suffer from a lack of diversity. The songs begin to sound the same and there is not much to distinguish each song from each other. It is not musically brilliant, rather focusing more on catchy lyrics. That is not a bad thing, Gillespie wanted it to be that way. As a passion project, it remains very enjoyable and it made me excited for the future of The Almost. Gillespie continued with the band and released “Monster Monster” and “Fear Inside Our Bones” in 2009 and 2013, respectively. These albums built upon the success of “Southern Weather” and proved Gillespie’s creativity influential artistry in the alternative rock scene.