The Greeting Committee’s new EP, I’m Afraid Not Angry continues to highlight the band’s talent.
By Josie Stewart, ’21
It’s become a joke that my niche is writing about bands that no one has heard of, and it seems to continue here. Certainly, John Lennon fans recognize “The Greeting Committee” from his famous photographed t-shirt but possibly not from much more.
To me, the Greeting Committee quickly became one of my favorite groups due to a combination of beautiful vocals, relatable songs and a unique sound that many other indie bands fail to achieve. Not only this, but the group has reached this potential before any of the four members—Addie Sartino, Brandon Yangmi, Pierce Turcotte and Austin Fraser—have reached 22.
Sartino began as a solo artist in 2014 before joining Yangmi, Turcotte and Fraser to release their first demo in 2015. Since then, their popularity has grown with tours around the country to feature This is It, their newest full-length album in 2018.
On Oct. 17, they released their newest EP, I’m Afraid Not Angry, and while it only includes four songs and 14 minutes of music, it managed to be everything I would expect from a full-length album.
The first song, “Cry Baby,” may not be my new favorite song or even one that I’d add to a playlist, but it still exemplifies Sartino’s talent and the group’s experimentation with sound. As a relatively young and new band, I expected their EP to differ slightly from their old music as they determine who their audience is and what genre and style they want to achieve. Though it does, they still play each song effortlessly combining a soft note of dream pop, a down to earth indie vibe and a general effort to create an atmosphere around each note.
Although I was impressed with the first, each song gets better than the last. “Simply Surviving” follows with a brand new atmosphere but still the same youthful slight rock edge that listeners expect. It’s a song that I already know the lyrics to and a song for rolling down your windows to play obnoxiously loud. The breaks build tension, its backdrop adds a sense of continuity through each verse and its end leaves you wanting to listen on.
“What If Tomorrow Never Comes?” is most reminiscent of their past albums. Their most popular song on Spotify, “Hands Down,” may not accurately represent the peak of their talent, but it does achieve the aspects of every good Greeting Committee song. It carries through softly, building toward each chorus, and features some sections to emphasize Yangmi’s talent and lyrics that you will subconsciously know every time you hear the song. This song perfectly embodies each of these. It’s softer than the previous songs but still maintains an upbeat backing and lyrics that perfectly match the sound.
The band truly saved their best song to end the EP. “Call in the Morning” manages to have a familiar sound that left me scouring the internet for the lyrics, thinking that it was a cover of a more famous song. And yet, it is original—its sound, its lyrics, its Pet Sounds-esque ending and breaks and its softness leaves listeners wishing there was another song to follow. It’s evocative of past songs such as “Birthday Song” that convey a message and story as well as any famous ballad could.
This EP may not feature The Greeting Committee’s best songs, but it does not disappoint and it still spotlights their talent as they continue to grow from a small band in Kansas City. Their cohesive efforts and unequivocally matched talent at their age only proves that each release will improve and ultimately become more popular as they and their music matures.