This is a song that changes sonic tactics throughout, and it works really well. Echoing the confusion and frustration of its narration, it vacillates between peace and discord. It builds its story around the lyrics, but challenges itself to tell that story with its audial composition. It warms from sparsity into intricacy, then plays with an almost noodling sound – evoking moments in waiting rooms; anticipatory, anxious.
For those of you eagerly awaiting a new Slowdive record, this release may just tide you over! Pure Phase Ensemble is a collective of musicians including Ride frontman Mark Gardener (how refreshing to not have to say FORMER), Raymond Dickaty (a member of Spiritualized from 1997-2002), Jacek Rezner (Wilga), Kamil Hordyniec (Wilga), Michał Pydo (Hatifnats), Michał ‘Kostek’ Stolc (Cisza nocna) and Karol Schwarz (KSAS).
Lush arrangement and poetic, but not horribly cumbersome, lyrics make this a song for movement – this is a track to drive to, to walk to, to dance to – but it is also a song for mental movement. It is a track to think to, as well. I actually found myself reminded of bands like The Railway Children; there is an element of that sumptuous mid-eighties New Wave sound represented here – a bit darker, but quite handsomely dressed in the same sort of brilliant guitar melodies and steady, up-tempo undercurrents.
There is indeed a warm staccato style of bass and guitar sound here which is highly reminiscent of the Smiths at their peak – Moon Tapes has mastered this particular brand of textured aural and emotional complexity, but give it their own unique spin. There isn’t quite Morrissey’s lyrical dexterity, but the plaintive angst vocalist Joep Meyer brings to the song is spot-on. Essentially, this is the Smiths without the hubris.
Hearts Of Black Science have a knack for layering, building from sparse guitars and subtle synths into harmonies of complex splendor. Ethereal, chilling vocals lead into what is essentially a lesson in aural world-building; by the end of my first listen I felt I had been transported into the moody, unnerving realm of its lyrics….palpable mistrust, doubt, and fledgling hopes all combine to create a panoply to showcase the talents of this fantastic Swedish mixed-genre band.