When you think of the year 2030, what comes to mind? Are you seeing a better world, a better life, a brighter place? As crazy as it seems, that year is actually in the pretty near future. Most people tend to associate the year 2030 as the end-all year for the climate change crisis… but, according to Gone Gone Beyond (a musically synergistic group, with roots all over the world), 2030 will be peaceful, full of love and wonder, with a punch of reality, yet also strangely calm. (All with no real agenda in mind; they are just expressing their feelings of the last three years). But, really, who isn’t!? Let’s dive deep into this summer’s hottest release — Gone Gone Beyond’s 2030 album.
The self-proclaimed ‘musical family’ of GGB consists of David Block (Los Angeles/NYC), Danny Musengo (Iowa/NYC), Kat Factor (Santa Cruz) and Mel Semé (Cuba/Barcelona), all singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists. They bring forth an incredible array of ingredients to create a recipe of blended folk, Americana, soul, electronic, jazz and world music. While experiencing GGB’s sophisticated sophomore album 2030, one can only dream of all the wild possibilities of what can happen over the next nine years (and it’s pretty darn crazy!!). However, GGB says they’ll be satisfied if the listener catches themselves looking at the stars… it’s all about the little things, right? Join me on this journey as we close our eyes, take a deep breath and press play on the band’s absolute greatest artistry to date — no shuffles!
Let Gone Gone Beyond teleport you to the vivid world of ‘2030’ over 46 minutes and 22 seconds of euphoric bliss.
The album opens softly, with beautiful, harmonious voices accompanying the acoustic instrumentals, calling back to the “heart of Neil Young and and the whimsey of Alan Watts in a voodoo lullaby”. The opener, “Canyons”, is an “acoustic homage to those who came before them, in search of a mystical West,” says group member Danny Musengo. Then, seamlessly, the position changes and a lust for love and safety pinches you on “Little Moon”. “It started with the sharpest pain,” the cries Kat Factor on the opening vocals, to be soothed with gracious harmony by Musengo with “so, be light, my little moon”. Then, the listener transports to deeply-rooted sounds, alongside real frightful lyrics in the telling of possible future climate refugees — yep, another little punch of reality! Experience the heart of country with the bold track “Coast” and then get immediately calmed by soulful vocal runs in “Riptide”. Listeners are then brought back to the good ol’ USA with your new road trip anthem, “Lost In America” — a tale of finding ones way here.
An interesting find on this masterpiece is that “Canyons” and “A Better Way To Love” have the same lyrics, but are arranged so differently, you almost don’t catch it at first! To have two completely different souls exist in two songs with the same core is absolutely mind-boggling, but, yet, here we are… GGB has done it! Perhaps this description is an interesting take on perspective, but it truly shows the dynamic range of the group. We can see how a different emphasis on the same words truly changes the meaning of what is spoken. In “She Just Can’t Help But Shine”, we are reminded of those calm country roots, but with a belting voice to remind you of business matters.
The blend of futuristic folk-gone-county-gone-electric holds many powerhouses on ‘2030’ alone.
“Another Earth” represents the choice to be involved in the world, all the way to the story’s lingering conclusion — “see you in 2030”. “After all the trouble of a thunderstorm, the sun came out again and it was Marigold,” sings by Mel Semé, with a single accompanied guitar.
With such wide success of their EP 49 Bogart and debut album Things Are Changing, you might already have a GGB song on one of your Spotify playlists or have seen them at one of the giant venues or festivals they’ve already slayed, like Red Rocks, Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, SXSW or even the UN General Assembly. Although there are no tour plans yet, you’ll want to stay on this band’s radar! If you haven’t already, stream 2030 now!
Purchase or stream ‘2030’ album:
- Little Moon
- Rain Down
- Coast, feat. Moontricks
- Lost In America
- She Just Can’t Help But Shine
- Everything, feat. Sean Rodman
- Another Earth
- A Better Way To Love
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.