Rhythm of Black Lines, Human Hand, Animal Band
Tense, inventive interplay between every instrumentsoaring guitar, sure-footed, infectious bass, spot-filled, dynamic percussiondefies expectation and, at once, adequate description. That these elaborate works are so simple to easily recall, and indeed hum, is a testament to great songwritingthe songs’ complex nature merely a necessary aspect of how the message of each piece must be communicated. It’s not showboating, it’s plain and simple music, but with an anthemic flair the music demands.
One song, in particular, may be the best moment in music thus far this year: One Red Eye. Beginning with a cough to a count-off to a horn-and-synth churn interspersed with string flourishes, the imminent outcome is unpredictable. Carefully plucked electric-guitar arpeggios drive down, clasp hands with the dual plunging bassline and crunching drums, all working in concert to swirl us all further inward until the song at once begins, and the crystalline tenor vocals catch us allband and audience alikeup with one another. An effortless break then breaks upon itself, and waves of instrumental magnificence crash over it all. The repeated minor-key buildups with the reintroduction of the strings breaks apart your heart; the music changes everything. The Rhythm of Black Lines builds upon itself, in perfect harmony, in utter splendor. And then we all go down, together, so happily, again.