The first track opens sounding fittingly droning, low key and full of feeling. A refrain of the haunting line “I don’t hear voices” contributes to a slow build and culminates from a haunting chant into a triumphant infectious groove by the end of the song. A great introduction to the band’s polished potential.
Dream Reader –
Dream Reader picks up directly where the song last leaves off, and feels very cool, uncaring and, indeed, dreamy. The bridge features sweeping synthesizers and shows the band having a little fun with the album’s theme, and while could been seen as a little unsettlingly futuristic for the band’s usual sound, ultimately makes sense – and might make even more sense when performed live.
“There are ways of doing something that might be unhealthy,” Little said of the lyrics to the song.
The third track immediately lets off a different vibe than the two before it, with a refreshing return to the band’s usual off-center, driving and poppy angst. Although the least experimental track on the album, Strings is a well-polished and perfectly orchestrated version of what one has come to expect from the band’s previous work. The work that the group has put into progressing their sound shows through and holds well here.
Severed Light –
The introduction of the cello, performed by friend of the band Andrew Baber, is instantly something new, but transitions well into a familiar sound with another new addition of dueling guitars. Fittingly with the rest of the album, it is creepy, eerie and almost whining – in a good way. The song again culminates into another groove. While the transitions between styles in this song could sound a little disjointed at places, ultimately it feels intentionally jarring and almost theatrical. Appropriately, Taylor said that the song was written in four different and distinct acts.
Story: Lovey Cooper, Senior A&E Reporter