Under Review



Asthmatic Kitty Records

E. E. Mason

Listening to this album is a bit like wandering unexpectedly into the ghost of an old country fun-fair at midnight.

Fragile melodies and gorgeous haunting harmonies are paired with rhythms that occasionally sound as if they might have drifted loose from a Tom Waits or Pram album, as in the opening track, “Tail and Mane.” The long, echoey notes of Nedelle Torrisi’s vocals, reminiscent of Broadcast’s Trish Keenan, are adorned by rusty twangs of guitar and plinks of saloon piano, and backed by washes of barely-detectable chords that add a subtle cinematic presence to the sound, yet there’s always enough space in the arrangements for each element and instrument to work its full magic.

Brisker tracks such as “Mythomania” or “Blue Tears”, with its perky ‘60s-pop intro and tight punchy percussion, create a contrast for more plangent songs like “I’ll Take The Long Way” or the delicate and exquisitely wistful “Galvanize.” In “Gotta Get Into That Feeling,” a background of orchestral strings adds a layer of nervous jitter to an almost music-boxe-like simplicity. It’s this knack of seamlessly mixing styles and effects that makes this record so captivating. More than just detailed and lovingly-crafted indie-pop, Cryptacize have created an album full of dark atmosphere and beauty, capable of mesmerizing even the most cynical listener.