This post could also easily be titled: Points for Packaging! Seriously, I am a big fan of the digital release for a lot of reasons. The last time I moved apartments, I cannot even begin to express to you the number of cds I had to unload that I had been sent by bands, publicists, promotional agencies, etc. over the years. I'm the kind of person who rips a CD into her itunes and then will likely never touch the actual packaging ever again (if it's a band I really love, I'll buy the vinyl). And that behavior was actually much more common 3+ years ago, with digital releases becoming absolutely my method of choice (not just because it saves me a lot of back breaking box lifting and endless clutter either - though no one wants their living room to look like a musical edition of Hoarders).
All that being said, when I do still get CDs in the mail it is always nice to see a band doing something a little extra special and Tennessee indie pop-rock outfit Commerce took that concept to the NEXT level. I grabbed the CD, wrapped in a very cool brown-paper old-fashioned envelope out of my stack of overdue Direct TV bills and threw it in my purse immediately to listen to at work, having no idea what it even really was. Upon opening the lovely package, which included a handwritten note from band member Matt and clever "Commerce of the State of Tennesse" stamping, I gave them a listen and discovered that their debut LP, The Things I Say vs. The Things I Mean is very tenderly crafted work of pop song-writing.
At times I found certain moments on the album maybe a tad too precious, but perhaps that's just my personal out-of-touch-ness with such sincere expressions of adolescent hope and heartbreak (does that make me sound old and cynical? Probably.. but to be fair I do live in New York City, not the mountains of Tennessee). Nevertheless, overall the album is really well done and hey - we all need something precious to hold on to now and then, don't we?
Commerce - The Same Time
Commerce - Where We Are