You’re an audience member in a grand hall. You can’t spot a ceiling in the endless blackness above you, and behind you the rows of heads extend into eternity. Onstage sit multiple pianos of the multi-sensory variety, meaning that the melodies and chords played upon them cast fantastic sights, sounds, and smells into the crowd. The type of experiences depend on the mood of the performed music. The lights go down, and you’re engulfed in a sea of applause.
’15 has been a landmark year for breaking genre barriers. Slowness is the second full-length release from Outfit, a Liverpool band that cares not about coloring inside the lines with the categorization of their sound, frequently leaping between experimental pop, classical post-rock, buoyant house, and a slew of others. These talented artists know how to write hooks, and they’re experts at extravagantly dressing those hooks.
The best descriptor for this album may be the obliquely beautiful yet disquieting cover art. The instrumentation is polished and aqueous at times, dark and ominous at others, but Andrew Hunt’s vulnerable voice (somewhat resembling Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor) and ear-worm melodies always carry a torch through each song. This is gorgeous, progressive, deconstructed pop music with a focus on synthetic experimentation.
This band does a whole lot of things right, but their heaviest trump card may be their utilization of piano. The melodious sound of the classical piano provides a foundation for each one of these pieces to build upon. Towers of otherworldly synths, melting guitars, and driving percussion are the result, and they are marvels to behold. If you’re seeking experimental pop music with a progressive mindset, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)