There’s nothing better than listening to an album, EP or single and finding yourself closing your eyes, immersed in it’s beauty. These releases are a very rare commodity these days, sadly… but they are still out there. That being said, I was recently introduced to 5 individuals out of NYC who call themselves Ionia. Their new EP, Postcards From the Edge: Chapter 1. Delta 32 combines incredibly thought provoking lyrics, atmospheric music and a powerful delivery behind it all. This isn’t their first foray into the musical world… they’ve also got a full-length (2011’s Moral Hazard) and 1 more EP (2014’s Captain Humility) which, admittedly, I haven’t checked out yet but I am bound to very soon after hearing their newest opus.
The album begins with the aptly-titled “I Hate Long, Pretentious Song Titles And I’m a Hypocrite”. Forget about the comical title and focus on the lyrics coming from vocalist Blaise Beyhan’s mouth “CEO says people first before capital gains, before he ever sees a dime dispersed, he’ll shoot the paper in his veins! Oh, sweet hypocrisy… where the f**k do you think we’re gonna go?” As you can tell from the start… these guys aren’t shy with speaking their minds… this is a direct attack on the “suits” of the world. We’re led to believe that they’re saving us, when in reality… all they’re looking for is their next paycheck, not giving a second-glance to the chaos they may set forth. “If I’m the good guy and you’re the bad guy, how will I know?” Take a moment to examine the world from the eyes of the lion… all we are is wildebeest’s, sooner or later… we’ll all be eaten, forcing them on to the next one.
The album then leads us into “Ideas”. Lyrically, this song honestly reminds me of a modern day version of “What It’s Like” by Everlast. We’re told to “do this” and “say that” on a daily basis, having our beliefs, our ideas and our sanity built for us, rather than discovering things for ourselves. It reminds us that we have our own minds, we can think, act and talk for ourselves… therefore, we can create our own ideas. It doesn’t matter what your views are on religion, war/peace, corruption, etc… you are your own person, with your own thoughts and your opinions matter the same as anyone else. It’s acoustically-led, has a very beautiful and atmospheric feel to it… and builds up right to the end, where the full band comes in for a few seconds, signaling the end of the song.
I was introduced to this band as a “post-hardcore” band… I didn’t really see the comparison until I got to “We Shall Overcome”, the 3rd track on the EP. This is the first track that really, collectively, shows the talent that these 5 individuals possess. This song takes on quite a few subjects… but most notably the fact that there are countries that enlist children soldiers, sending them to their deaths without a single bit of remorse. “They are Delta 32” is repeated several times, of course referencing the title of the EP… but I believe the meaning is deeper. I can only speculate but, based on that speculation, this track seems to be about a particular militant group… perhaps consisting of children soldiers who, either overcame the impossible… or, sadly, met their untimely deaths. This track is particularly powerful on all fronts.
I don’t want to ruin any more of the surprises on this EP so I will say this… go check out Ionia. If you ever get a chance to see them live, do it! Most of all, pick up your copy of Postcards from the Edge: Chapter 1. Delta 32, out now on iTunes and BandCamp, especially if you’re a fan of music that really gets you thinking about the state of the world. These guys have a way of conveying their ideals to the world and want the world to connect, wake up and see things the way that they are meant to be.