Pure In The Plastic

Written by: LF on 13/07/2016 13:25:15

Polyenso from St. Petersburg, Florida surprised me last year when I first heard their 2013 debut album "One Big Particular Loop" which sounded very unique. Their style is a soft mix of indie rock, post-rock, and jazzy elements as well as electronic and RnB, and it all comes together to create a funky experimental mesh of sound that doesn't really resemble any other band I can think of. The moving trumpet that featured heavily on their debut is nowhere near as dominating here on the follow-up, and the songs are generally more pop-inspired. When listening to their very light, melodic tunes, it's almost unbelievable that this trio developed out of a post-hardcore band (Oceana).

The four most immediately catchy songs on the album, featuring as track 1, 4, 9, and 10, were in fact already released last year under the name "EP1". Here, they are interspersed with a bunch of electronically based songs that often use trip-hop-like rhythms, looping sounds, and layered and modified vocals. The track "I.W.W.I.T.I.W." early on the album is one of the more intriguing examples of that, with its slow atmospheric progression and a rhythm that almost trips over itself. The vocals change character almost constantly, from airy and calm to sharper high notes, while the phrasing is constantly very RnB. The track is also one of the only ones here to move away from the rather optimistic and light sound of the album as it moves into a heavier and dark sound towards the end.

Apart from that, it is the EP-songs that stand out the most. The introductory "17 New Years" as well as "Not My Real Life" present us with thicker soundscapes and more immediately catchy melodies than many of the other tracks. "Osaka Son" and "Moona Festival" make up a brilliant ending to the album with the first one presenting the finale with a very open sound. The piano-lead "Moona Festival" already stole my heart last year and it is still my very favourite track on the new album. Its sudden upwards-striving breaks are ecstatic to listen to and makes me crank up the volume every time. The only regrettable thing about it is that it ends so suddenly.

Even though things like the very loud intro of "Every Single Time", the choir backing on "/// (A Pool Worth Diving In)", and the swirling build-up of "Let It Go" make momentary impressions, the songs don't manage to keep up interest in the same way as the aforementioned ones. The general sound of the album doesn't appeal as much to me as the soothing sound of their first record but nonetheless, it is another enjoyable album from a band I will continue to follow. I have a feeling that my interest in some songs over others has more to do with my genre-preferences than with their quality and as such, the album as a whole is continuing to grow on me for now.

Download: Moona Festival, I.W.W.I.T.I.W., 17 New Years
For The Fans Of: Moving Mountains, Hrvrd, Radiohead
Listen: facebook.com/Polyenso

Release date 01.04.2016
Dog Radio/Tree Tone Music

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