Nu-prog appears to be trying very hard to appease me. The early onsets of the condition/genre known as nu-prog were met with mostly derision in the blog’s musical circles and, in my eyes, that derision was justified. Make no mistake, I’d like to love nu-prog; I’m a big fan of uplifting and ultra-melodramatic music. However, the early iterations of the style were filled with scatterbrained compositions and an emphasis on vanilla (what John Petrucci dubbed ages ago as “chocolate cake”) that even my sweet-tooth was deterred. That being said, a few artists in the recent months (Plini, David Maxim Micic and Joel Lindfors, to name a few) have been making worthy additions to the genre, injecting it with much needed structure and direction which balance out its more flamboyant ideas.
Enter Bodhi, a one man project from Justin Seymour, who plays for blog favorites The Room Colored Charlatan. Bodhi has all the marks of nu-prog on its latest release, including sweet guitars, an emphasis on solos and the sort of dream-y timbre that’s come to be associated with the genre. However, it all has everything good about the artists mentioned above, namely musical sensibility, restraint and a sense of composition that enunciates the musical ideas contained therein. The project also manages to create interesting “spaces” for the guitar to live in, contextualizing the flair and expressiveness of its sound.
You can hear that all important last point on the released single, “Enamor”. The backing synths, the interaction between drum and bass, all lend the rest of the music meaning, provide it with a canvas. While the emphasis is still very much on the guitar, the rest of the instruments aren’t just tacked on. They’re written with the main guitar lines in mind. This repeats throughout the EP, making it a worthy addition to this apparent resurgence of nu-prog done well. You can head on down to the project’s Bandcamp and pre-order the release, if you like what you hear; the rest of it is just as good.