“This is a song about me today singing about myself seven years ago,” said Future Islands vocalist Sam Herring, introducing their song “Balance” at the Black Cat Tuesday night.
“Scissor Dance,” off their upcoming self-titled. Free download!
Very rarely does a band develop their own distinctive sound on the their first release. Last April, Kinnie the Explorer put out their debut EP, “Blood, It’s on Every Wall” for free download on their bandcamp. The sound defies easy comparisons to other artists, blending a 90’s indie vibe with a layer of psyched-out guitar work found in 2000’s spacey post rock and dream pop. The band writes conventional song structures, but often in odd time signatures, with melodies that defy what one would expect to fit in the rest of the mix. The songs are equal parts catchy and experimental. The Brighton, UK group is gearing up to release their self-titled full length this February, putting out their first single, “Scissor Dance,” for free download earlier today. You can preorder the full length as a digital copy or vinyl, and pray that they’re going to play some shows on the east coast soon (tell me that picture isn’t beyond enticing).
Dive is the kind of album for people who enjoy thinking and dancing at the same time (though in no particular order). It builds a bridge between the introspection of ethereal music with driving IDM influence. In short, it’s the soundtrack to an awesome day. Sure, it’s been done before, but not in a very long time. This album fits under the term “ambient music” in the way Brian Eno first described it, stating that it can be “actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener.” Given Eno’s output, he probably didn’t mean this style, but it’s certainly the case here.
The third track, “Daydream,” is what I expected to hear from him. He surrounds an uplifting acoustic guitar melody with beats à la Boards of Canada and dense lo-filter synths. It switches between a slow head bob to a pogo seamlessly. It’s cool, but bland if you’ve listened to him before. However, following “Daydream” with a track like “Dive” is exactly what Tycho needs to do to show his versatility. While “Daydream” pushes you inward, “Dive” does the opposite. I was waiting to hear Dave Macklovitch of Chromeo be featured on vocals the whole time. While maintaining that upbeat vibe, they instead go with reverb-drenched female vocals, singing free form ooh’s and ahh’s.
So I’m going to ignore the fact that this was announced just a few days ago AND THEN was released a day before they said it would be. Let’s pretend the past week has been normal.
I just picked this up and have listened to it through two or three times, so I’m going to write about the tracks that immediately stick out on another listen. To start out, I have to say this might be a really difficult album to get into, but I promise there’s something amazing here and it’s worth giving it time to warm up to you if it doesn’t immediately.