Tag Archives: psychedelic indie

Kishi Bashi: Lighght

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Kishi Bashi: Lighght- Sailing in on a gust of psych pop glory, Kishi Bashi brings an album that is at times danceable and other times contemplative, awash in lush orchestration. Kishi Bashi is the solo project of K Ishibashi, who adopted the moniker while forming his new solo outfit. Lighght is Kishi Bashi’s sophomore album and the confidence in songwriting and composition shows. This is also a man who is no stranger to the music scene, having been a former touring violinist for both Regina Spektor and Of Montreal. Kishi Bahi’s prowess with string orchestration is more than apparrent on Lighght and he is able to seamlessly thread it through tunes that make you want to dance to ones that get more experimental and urge you to just sit and listen for a while.

One element that immediately stands out in Lighght is the fact there are two short instrumental pieces. The first track, ‘Debut- Impromptu’ and later on, ‘Impromptu No 1′ both serve as a set up and an intermission, respectively. They focus on string orchestrations, while also throwing in some electronic based sounds, some keys, some instruments that are still a mystery to me. What is immediately apparent  from ‘Debut- Impromptu’ is the non-traditional use of strings, much of which sounds like it is put through some sort of filter that gives it a playful tone, but one that should not be taken lightly.

Two of the more danceable tracks on Lighght appear early on the album and grab listeners attention. ‘Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It!’ starts off with with a violin and quickly layers in other instruments and a chorus of harmonized “Ohs” before braking into full rhythm with loose, tribal drums, quirky sounds and just great modern psych pop with possible influences from Animal Collective and MGMT. And while this song uses what sound like live drums, ‘The Ballad of Mr. Steak’ uses beats to get a more synth-poppy, dance-floor groove going through your veins. Kishi Bashi is able to blend together elements from more standard pop with the somewhat experimental elements of psych pop for a fun, quirky song telling the story of a bachelor named, Mr. Steak who loved to dance. I’m a sucker for puns and using lines like, “Mr. Steak, you were grade A” just add to the vibe of the album.

And while there are more standard dance tunes, there are also songs, that while still holding a great beat, delve more into psychedelic elements rather than the pop. With ‘Hahaha Pt. 1′ and Hahaha Pt. 2′, Kishi Bashi proves strings are an element that should be used more on modern music. Both songs are awash in strings, beats, and synths. The vocals have a slight echo to them giving the songs a very dream-like quality. They also provide an element normally only seen in “rock opera” albums, movements. In what is given the overarching term “classical music”, movements can be like tracks on an album or like sub-tracks layered in single songs, but all while using similar musical themes or melodies.  In the two ‘Hahaha’ tracks, the idea of movements is employed and used to tie two songs together that while are different, use intelligent threads to tie together the musical themes.

And while all the tracks mentioned are outstanding, on ‘Q&A’, Kishi Bashi strips things down and has a nice light, acoustic-folk love song. It is a nice touch to an album with full orchestration and shows Mr. Ishibashi understands the need for contrasts and dynamics in an album. It is a sweet song that makes you bob your head back and forth and think about that special someone.

All in all, Kishi Bashi’s, Lighght is a fantastic psych pop album. It shows that excellent violin playing and string orchestrations set this album apart from others in it genre. It is smartly crafted, both catchy with the pop elements and holds your attention and opens the mind with the more experimental side. It is a well-composed sophomore album, which is difficult to do. Kishi Bashi was able to keep his best elements strong, appeasing older fans and attracting new ones…  9.5/10

‘Q&A’

 

 

 

Profile: The Donkeys

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As San Diegan folk-psychedelios, The Donkeys have become a southern Californian regional favorite for encapsulating everything lovable about their favorite place in the world, and last Saturday I had the pleasure of speaking with them before the second show of their tour, sharing the stage with Extra Classics and The Blank Tapes. Anthony Lukens (singer/keyboardist/guitarist) texted telling me to come early and hang, and met me at the front of the Glass House as soon as I arrived; drummer Sam Sprague was shopping in the Glass House record store with Jessie Gulati (guitarist and occasional sitarist), who was doing some imaginative math to work a Lyres vinyl into his personal budget. Lead guitarist Timothy DeNardo met us there to complete the quartet, sporting a spiffy new blue-and-white Hawaiian shirt, the first he’s ever owned somehow, despite living in sunny San Diego. As charmingly laid-back as their sound is, their personalities and friendship are even more so.

VS: So do you guys do any mental/physical preparation to get ready for touring, to stave off exhaustion and the like?

Jessie: We should! But yeah, I don’t… at all…

Anthony: I’m preparing just by eating every meal at home until we leave, that’s my big thing. Just get as many vitamins and minerals in me before the big fast.

Sam: It’s weird, I feel like I eat better on tour almost, especially on the long ones, since we go grocery shopping mostly. ‘Cause you can’t snack, I mean, not anymore. Well, you probably could… [Gestures to me; I shift uncomfortably in my seat.]

Jessie: We make sandwiches, eat fruit, eat a lot of vegetable snacks, carrots instead of Doritos. I mean you could eat Doritos all day until you feel like crap, it’s super salty, for hours…

Sam: You drink a lot of water though, to be candid.

Timothy: I have a hard time drinking, I usually get really dehydrated a lot on tour, because I just have to pee a lot if I drink a lot of water, so it’s like I’m pulling over every twenty minutes if I do, so I just don’t drink any water.

Anthony: Yeah, he has a notoriously small bladder.

Timothy: Yeah dude, they just get mad at me, I get into trouble…

VS: What albums do you guys bring with you on tour?

Sam: We buy records mainly, so it kind of sucks in terms of bringing music on tour.

Anthony: We do have a little record player, and we’d play it in the back room and motels and stuff.

Jessie: That’d be real fun, because we can just go shopping that day, then at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning listen to everything we bought.

VS: Do you ever listen to your own music? As a joke or otherwise?

Anothy: I have this old iPod and every now and then I’ll forget there’s some of our old music on it, like weird demos and crap we haven’t heard in a while and I’ll put that on as a joke. And we’ll be like, “Wow, this is awesome”, so yeah, sometimes we listen to the older thing?

Jessie: Yeah, it’s like looking at old photographs, where you hear the song and you’re like, “Yeah I remember that time! when we did that thing0…”

VS: I noticed that you’re closing off this tour with Pickathon in Oregon. Do you guys have a preference between playing smaller shows and larger music festivals?

Sam: We mostly play small shows. Festivals get a little weird because it’s such a high pace of turnover, super chaotic getting in there, quick on, quick off, it’s super hard, unorganized.

Jessie: Well, on the tours we play, we usually end up playing earlier, which is super fun because you just get to hang out all day, you don’t have to worry about loading in and out [laughs].

Are you guys festival-goers? Do you have an opinion on the direction large-scale musical festivals are taking?

Sam: I haven’t been to a festival that we haven’t played since I was like… twenty… two… [laughs] It doesn’t appeal to me, no. It’s a little too much, I’m a “less is more” kinda guy. I’d rather see a band at a small club. I love seeing bands at festivals while we’re playing there, though. Maybe it’s out of laziness, but Coachella just doesn’t sound fun, too much of like a shit show.

Timothy: I like Coachella because of where we live; we can pick up the stragglers on the weekends or weekdays because all those bands are coming through during the week and you get to see really cool bands at smaller venues. But festivals, it’s just too much too fast. It’s a lot of people.

VS: What was the general ethos behind Ride the Black Wave? What did you do on this album that you didn’t do on previous albums, would you say?

Anthony: We experimented with new sounds a little more, because we were recording in a place that had more toys so we can try out some new stuff. Maybe that, but I don’t think there was this whole plan of making it too differently. This was the first time we tracked digitally; that was different.

Timothy: I don’t think it was so much we were trying to do things differently, but we were trying to make things a little more cohesive. I know when it came to mixing it we wanted it to be less about the individual songs and make it more about an album experience. We haven’t always thought that way, but this time we were really conscious of time and getting the sequence together and finding ways we can make one song turn into the next.

Sam: We cut out a lot of songs. I think we were definitely dedicated to making a cohesive sound, whereas before we just kind of did whatever. So we cut out a lot of songs and picked the best songs, specifically for this record.

Timothy: We didn’t set out to write the record the way it was, but the demos we started making all had a kind of vibe, so that started steering us in a direction.

VS: I’ve heard you guys don’t have a dedicated lead singer, so how does your songwriting process generally go?

Timothy: Sam writes a lot, he’s quick with the melody and the words, and he writes more often that I do for sure. I think melody comes a little slower to me. Sam’s definitely thrown a few songs my way, and Anthony’s really good at songwriting too.

Anthony: Everybody’s got their strengths and weaknesses, and I’d like to think we can exploit each others’ strengths.

Sam: The best songs we’ve ever written, we wrote together. But yeah sometimes there’s songs where it’ll all be totally done when someone brings it in, sometimes it’ll be like ‘here’s a riff,’ somebody comes up with a melody, it’s gone all ways, which is good for us.

Jessie: We’ve been in a band for ten years, and we’ve pretty much done it every which way.

Timothy: Some of the earliest stuff was definitely just jams that we dissected and re-sculpted into something, but now, as we all get better musically, the ideas come out a little more fleshed out than they used to. As opposed to just getting drunk and high…

Sam: And that’s fun to do too! But before, we used to be like “Okay it’s done!” But now we work on it a lot more.

Jessie: Yeah, there’s a lot more editing, and revising too, rewriting.

Sam: At least it’s happened to me where it’s like, “God, if I had just worked on it a little more it would’ve been better”. It is what it is now, but if I had just wrote this third verse instead of just repeating another one, things like that. I think when you’re younger you’re just happy it’s done. And then when you get older you finish a lot of things, and you just want to pick the good stuff.

VS: Listening to your newest album, Ride the Black Wave, I was sensing an ambivalence towards California, with lyrics like “Trapped in the sunny daze,” and others about moving to France, and we all know France is the opposite of California. What was your specific attitude towards the state for this album exactly?

Sam: [laughs] Most of us have lived in California for the better part of our lives, and you just kind of want change. I mean it’s beautiful and it’s perfect, but you do have this feeling of “change is nice”.

Timothy: You start to question the perfect.

Sam: I mean, Anthony moved to San Francisco for about three months, that’s as much as anything’s changed. Moving to San Francisco would be awesome, it’s such different weather. I love California, it’s just one time I got up, I was hung over, and I saw these guys jogging, you know, in San Diego, and I said to myself, “God I wish I lived in Minnesota where everybody was hung over and its cold out so you wouldn’t see some asshole running”… sometimes you just want to watch a movie but its 75 degrees out and you feel like an asshole just sitting in your house.

Timothy: If you moved to Minnesota it’d be hard to get used to the cold weather, and there’s a weird motivation to that, and a kind of hardship. San Diego has permanent nice weather, and that might create a complacency or lack of motivation where you can say, “Oh, I can just do that tomorrow because it’s going to be just as nice out”. You can’t say, “It’s been shitty for three weeks, so I’m going to make the most of this”.

VS: I notice a lot of interviews refer to your music in relation to California. Does that ever grate on you?

Sam: I’m happy people are just noticing us. I mean usually it’s complimentary; it’s interesting to me, though, to think of what people get from our music. It doesn’t bother me, does it bother you guys?

Anthony: You kind of wonder if people actually hear that [California sound], like a chicken and the egg thing, where you wonder, “Did you hear that first, or did you read that and then think of it when you listen to our music? If you went in blind and heard it, would you still say it’s a CA sound?”

Sam: We’ve just kind of embraced it and so now it makes sense. I think people like hearing words, and then clinging onto them. I don’t really get it at all.

VS: Is it still too early to discuss plans for The Donkeys’ future?

Sam:  We’ve kind of done pre-production on a new record, actually. We have songs, we always have songs, but right now we’re just really focused on touring this record. Though recording is my favorite thing to do.

VS: Last question – what are you guys all listening to right now?

Anthony: Well I just got a hold of the New Extra classics record, we had it on all morning, loved it. [It's true - they do love Extra Classics. They went nuts for their set, and wanted to purchase their keyboardist.]

Jessie: I just bought some records now, but the last one I got was a live 13th Elevator record.

Timothy: I can’t get enough of that Frank Ocean record. It’s all I’ve been listening to, I wake up in the morning with it stuck in my head and I jut put it on all day long. I think everyone’s sick of it by now.

Sam: Right now I’ve been listening to Merle Haggard a lot, it’s really good for me right now. I don’t know why. It’s good summer music.

The Donkeys at The Glass House

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The Glass House is in the brick-and-cobble arts colony in downtown Pomona, California, where a defunct Washington Mutual now serves as a community art center. It’s a venue that comes complete with its own record store (well-stocked too, not your average hole-in-the-wall), and features both a larger stage and the smaller Blue Room for more intimate sets; the latter is a very bare-bones stage where you can get about as close to performers as common courtesy allows, and it was here that I saw psychedelic easy-folk quartet The Donkeys on the second show of their tour, along with The Blank Tapes and Extra Classic. And you bet your ass I got as close as common courtesy allowed.

Since I can’t resist using the phrase “donkey show” at least once in this review, let me get it out of my system: The Donkeys live show is at least… two times as good as any donkey show, and at least four times as clean.

Now then, the first thing that stuck out about The Donkeys’ set — these guys have been at it for a long time, 10 years in fact, and the age shows in the best way possible. It was clear they knew their songs in and out, and knew which elements should recede and which should pop, so if you’re still on the fence about budgeting in a Donkeys concert, rest assured: you’ll be in professional hands. The sound was spot-on, losing out in no way to the album renditions, but adding an intensity even to the slower tracks. Their swagger was natural rather than rehearsed, and both Anthony Lukens and Timothy DeNardo had their nightbird croons tuned to perfection. They exuded this confidence that the party will come, even if the room were empty, even if they were singing through holes in the wall out into the night streets.

The second thing you notice — The Donkeys can do it all, if you couldn’t tell from their discography. The laidback cruise of ‘Sunny Daze’ was milk-smooth, and the backup vocals stood out sharply for pleasant harmonization. Ditto for the criminally short ‘Blues in The Afternoon’, which has an evening fogginess to the group-effort vocals that can’t be easy to pull off live. On the flipside, they can bash it out beer-hall style, with Anthony’s keyboard acrobatics flying wall to wall and up and down the scales, eliciting a palpable honky-tonk fervor from the crowd. It’s definitely more a house-party sort of feel than the “sleepy ocean tunes” image you might have of them, with its fair share of danceables like ‘I Like the Way You Walk’, which has an added thump to the enunciation and percussion to give it a feeling more jaunty than country.

Basically, all the hits and giggles from their most recent album, Ride the Black Wave, were present in full force, led of course by the phenomenally chill lead single ‘Scissor Me Cigs’. The track had exceptional tempo control from drummer Sam Sprague, whose unusually forceful beats puts Donkeys on a level beyond groups who do a similar sort of folksy chill-wave.

My only real complaints? No ‘Lower the Heavens’ from their self-titled debut, and NO SITAR FROM JESSIE. I understand the technical and logistic difficulties of getting that beast to sound out in a live show, but I was really looking forward to some ‘East/West Coast Raga’ and ‘Imperial Beach’. Oh, also, they had to stop by 11:00, which might’ve ended up working in their favor — they played hard as hell, as though all the lights on earth would wink out once the clock struck.

The Donkeys’ concern is strictly the creation of that specific psych-country partying they’ve made a name with — there’s no staring at the floor, racing through songs, no “just getting done with it.” When they play, they’re in your face, getting you to clap for once in your goddamn life, and shaking the house to the floor with the time they’re given.

Aside from a great headliner, the opening sets included solid performances from both The Blank Tapes and Extra Classic. The former is a surf-aesthetics and guitar heroics sort of group, a solid power trio with lively bass riffs holding the line, while vocalist/guitarist Matt Adams ventures out to choppy seas with his reverbed freakouts.

Extra Classic, on the other hand, is a collision of trip-hop and reggae, as beautiful a sound as it is unlikely. Their groove cannot be denied or defied, and vocalist Adrianne Verhoeven is a joy to watch, whether she’s belting it out or rocking the bongos, melodica or tambourine. All in all, a lovely night at an intimate venue, in a pretty, red-brick part of town.

tUnE-yArDs: Nikki Nack

tUnE-yArDs: Nikki NackTune-Yards 2011 release Whokill was a tough act to follow – a true lyrical and symphonic original with its unexpected, unapologetic sound, complete with the angelic grit of Merrill Garbus’ voice and political angst. The album was true to itself, to the social and political criticism it conveyed, and the cacophony of instruments in each song. But for now, let us let Whokill rest in the light of Tune-Yards’ most recent release, Nikki Nack, a 13-track, 45-minute long dose of Merrill Garbus.

The album opens with ‘Find a New Way,’ a percussion fueled track, sprinkled with a few emphatic basslines (courtesy of Nate Brenner) and sunny synth interruptions. Garbus’ song-writing skills are evident from this first track, the flow of her rhymes with the off-beat staccato instrumentals of the song. Garbus’ range never ceases to amaze, her voice sliding seamlessly from high to low notes, from loud to soft range without missing a beat.

‘Water Fountain,’ the album’s second track, carries the punchy rebel strength of the first, starting with a tribal drumbeat and Garbus’ chanting. It seems Tune-Yards is limitless in their creative and experimental ability (watch the music video if you don’t believe me). The variation of sounds within each song is enough to prove it, particularly in the sonic layers of ‘Water Fountain’. Tune-Yards has, arguably, the biggest guts in all of contemporary music.

The third track on Nikki Nack, ‘Time of Dark’ showcases Garbus’ vocal abilities impeccably as she croons, “See me over the mountain/ There’ll never be a mountain that I cannot climb”. Who can argue with that? No one. The track flows with funky bass line and jazzed out drums, and carries that distinct, underlying tribal sound that all Tune-Yards songs seem to possess. Perhaps it’s that raw honest energy and sheer passion that is clearly audible in this track, but it is no doubt one of the best on the album, followed by ‘Real Thing,’ a track starting off with a hip-hop overtone, that drops into percussion and synths, slowing down as Garbus sings, “Oh my God I use my lungs / Soft and loud any way that feels good” speaking most probably, to the exact thing I just praised: Garbus’ ever impressive vocal range and musical inventiveness.

The album slows down its pace with the fifth track, ‘Look Around,’ Garbus’ synthetically altered vocals standing out as an instrument within itself. She sings, “Let’s not pretend the world around us isn’t falling” echoing the familiar themes of Whokill, that the world is full of injustices and fallable logic, waiting to be called out and disproven by the gritty croons of Garbus herself.

After seven tracks of signature Tune-Yards sound (which is ‘signature’ only in its inability to be pigeon-holed, constantly floating around from one genre to the next), the album takes a, to put it mildly, unconventional turn with the eighth track, ‘Why Must We Dine on the Tots?’ which is not a song at all, but a fictional dialogue between a mother and a grandfather, as told presumably by the mother’s daughter. Spoiler alert: the ‘Tots’ here are not as you may think, tater tots, but instead children. As the voice of mother says, “What good were those kids before they were our food?” A mid-album treat, just long enough to entertain you with an old-timey horror movie sound, and just creepy enough to still be funny.

‘Stop That Man’ maintains the steady pace of Tune-Yards sound present before the ‘Tots’ interlude, with an unexpected dose of dark synth pop beats. ‘Wait For a Minute’ stays true to its title, allowing the edge and raw energy of the previous tracks, to take a seat second to Garbus’ simply beautiful voice, alongside slowly building synths. Lyrically, ‘Wait For a Minute’ is flawless, “I guess I’ll drown my fear / And seal my fate / Easier to do it / Than just sit here and wait” comes across as a nonchalant call to action. Following this track is ‘Left Behind’, the flip-side to Garbus’ moments of vocal melancholy as a charged, perhaps schizoid track. The layered instrumentation present in the rest of the album is lost a bit, but then again, for Tune-Yards sometimes the words in the song are more important than the music itself. The track that follows ‘Rocking Chair,’ is primarily acoustic, and sounds like a chant to be sung in rhyme around a camp-fire more than anything.

Nikki Nack ends with ‘Manchild’ whose lyrical content speaks out, presumably, against men who think themselves to be of superior masculinity (ahem, misogyny). This is Garbus at her raw, honest best, singing, “Not gonna say yes / When what I really mean is no / I mean it, don’t beat up on my body”. The music itself is complimentary to her words, but it is clear in this track Garbus aimed for the lyrics to be the focal point, not just a political attack in conjunction with creative instrumentals, but a meticulously planned social criticism.

All in all, Nikki Nack is a Tune-Yards success, maintaining the unapologetic experimentation and criticisms that enthralled so many in Whokill. Tune-Yards fans are surely not to be disappointed, and like Whokill, I suspect Nikki Nack will seduce listeners from all genres of musical preference. Tune-Yards certainly never fails to surprise, challenge and ultimately, impress…9/10

Why Do We Dine on the Tots?

Pattern is Movement: Pattern is Movement

Pattern Is Movement

Pattern is Movement: Pattern is Movement – After six years of silence, Pattern is Movement emerge from the darkness with a shiny, new 10-track self-titled LP. The duo, hailing from Philadelphia, consists of Christopher Ward on drums and Andrew Thiboldeaux on everything else – vocals, bass, synth and a Fender Rhodes. With substantially smaller numbers than the five-piece the band was founded with, one may expect Pattern is Movement to be weaker than past albums; one would be wrong! Pattern is Movement (the band) has solidified into an unbreakable sound – strong, determined and utterly original.

The album’s first track is ‘River,’ which begins with what I can only assume is a xylophone (don’t quote me on that) so lightly played across to sound like drops of rain hitting the pavement, gathering in puddles – little rivers. From the start of Pattern is Movement, the genre of their sound is indefinable. Synths, strong drumming and Thiboldeaux’s vocals, which is truly an instrument itself, collide with the variety of sonic elements integrated into the music, producing a sound so distinct. ‘River’ closes out with heavier synths and artistically auto-tuned vocals (which evokes a more James Blake–esque sound).

Following the trickling drops of ‘River’ is ‘Climb to Me’, which starts off strong with jumping bass and quickly sinks into a funky folk-pop track, submerged in synths and something that sounds like a violin. The sound remains relatively constant throughout the song, contrasting the previous track’s schizophrenic jumps in pacing and melody.  ‘Climb to Me’ is an easy invitation into the album’s third track ‘Rum,’ which begins with Thiboldeaux’s vocals, before resurrecting the sound of that strange xylophone heard in the first track. At this point in the album, Pattern is Movement’s sound is still genre-defying, but comparable to some combination of bands like Maps & Atlases and Dirty Projectors. But as the pace of ‘Rum’ picks up, it is undeniable that Pattern is Movement has a sound that is truly their own.

‘Little by Little’ follows, and carries the quirky, experimental-rock/pop tone of the tracks preceding it. The song starts with a little diddy that should be featured in Bambi, before falling into the melody of the song, where for once, Thiboldeaux’s vocals are readily comprehended. He sings, “There was gonna be a fair/By the mountain side/ There was to be drumming”, before falling back into indistinguishable auto-tuned gibberish (once again, reminiscent of James Blake). Forceful staccato drums complement the airy, surrealist (hence, Bambi) melody of the track.

The album’s halfway point finds itself with ‘Suckling’, a synth-heavy track that utilizes in full the artistic auto-tune change of tone to Thiboldeaux’s voice. Auto-tune is a dangerous beast – disregarding its standard, accepted use in top-charting pop music – but to the indie musician, it can be a tool of great success or terrible failure. Pattern is Movement without a doubt won their battle with Auto-tune, as evidenced by this track and also dispersed throughout other tracks on the album. ‘Suckling’ closes out with some creative drumming, which leads into ‘Gone my Love,’ a total shift in tone for the album. True to the title, ‘Gone My Love’ is a love song of sorts, maintaining mainly in the high-pitched sweetness of the melody. “Say yes to me/Say yes to me/Like you should,” Thiboldeaux sings over an almost absent melody, (now the James Blake comparison makes sense, yes?). ‘Gone My Love’ is an airy, pleasant track, building slowly with more drums and layers of vocals. It may be my personal favorite song on the album, perhaps the climax, considering the song that follows.

‘Let’s Be Done’ seems to be more of an interlude for the album than an actual song. All the schitzoid jumps in melody and layers of sound and instrumentation that carry throughout the album so far are lost in ‘Let’s Be Done,’ whose only intelligible lyrics are featured in its title. It’s repetitive, a smidge irritating and definitely the album’s weak point. Let’s move on.

Thankfully the album’s last three tracks close out strong. ‘Make it Right’ picks up the peppiness ten leaps, and Ward’s skilled drumming comes through in full, when not smashing away on the kit, he’s slamming drum sticks together like a metronome. If I’m not mistaken, a trumpet is also featured in this track, singing along with Thiboldeaux’s own vocals, which are supplemented by auto-tuned echoes of himself.

The album’s penultimate track is ‘Light of the World,’ which begins with Thiboldeaux singing, “We are the light of the world/We have been given the right.” Such confidence! And not unwarranted. ‘Light of the World,’ sounds like a daydream, ethereal, spaced out, pausing in the middle for a fit of bells, before breaking into a grand harmonization of those opening two lines, with smashing drums and persistent trumpets. Beautiful!

Pattern is Movement closes with ‘Wonderful’ and apt word to describe the album as a whole. Thiboldeaux sings, “Tired my friend, I’m tired.” He may be tired, but the music is anything but, the drums filling as the foundation for the instrumental harmonious layering of sounds build upon it. Pattern is Movement is an impressive conglomerate of instrumental experimentation and the true uniqueness of layering all of those sounds. This album is an indescribable sound, existing outside of genre in a category all its own. The six-year wait for this album was well worth it. For all its creativity and originality, Pattern is Movement is sure to be a favorite of 2014…7.8/10