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taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment

BraveyoungWe Are Lonely Animals

Formerly known as Giant, sometimes known as Low Sky, Braveyoung’s long-awaited follow-up to their 2009 EP Bloom finds them going away from their sludge/doom metal beginnings for the sound they threw away an entire recording session to find. We Are Lonely Animals is a brooding, minimalistic collection inspired by the band’s passion for heavy, heavy sounds.

Like the title of opener “Flesh and Bone” suggests, it’s a track composed only of a simple, repeated piano progression and a barely-there cello, almost as if to represent the basic constructs of what makes music. There’s several seconds of silence preceding many tracks, best utilized on “The Weight of Loss is Whole,” whose introductory notes feel as if they arrive from nothing. It’s also one of the few songs with vocals, mixed very low, but there’s surprisingly a lot happening here. The tracks here are incredibly sparse, often gorgeous, though for those not predisposed to the trappings of minimalism, you find yourself sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Only sometimes does it, but that’s quite alright.

76/100

Braveyoung will host their album release show Thursday at Legitimate Business. Harvard will support.

Wild Nothing — Golden Haze

The spring 2010 debut by Virginia native Jack Tatum, otherwise known as Wild Nothing, was gobbled up with such voracity that an EP only a few months later doesn’t come close to oversaturation. It was one of the best debuts of 2010, no doubt about it, but could what’s essentially a hurried release hold the same water? Close. Tatum recaptures the same Curemeets-10,000 Maniacs wistful pop fragility in a smaller dose with dreamy synth, trebly guitars and cheap drum-machine layers ripped straight from the ’80s. The themes are no different either, with six songs primarily acting as a continuation of the Gemini debut’s dreamy aloofness. Tatum’s vocals show scant versatility, but it’s just enough through the course of the EP that it’s not dominated by sameness. Opener “Golden Haze” finds his nasally tenor picking up where the last album left off, but he channels Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on “Take Me In” and MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden on “Vultures Like Lovers.” Golden Haze is not quite an evolution for Wild Nothing, but it’s close.

69/100

Wild Nothing will perform at Guilford College Wednesday with Abe Vigoda.

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