Hermit Thrushes–Mystery Ocean
Haven’t heard a band that made this much sense in a long time. Been obsessively listening to their previous releases, Benaki and Slight Fountain, but thinking Hermit Thrushes’ Mystery Ocean could be their apotheosis. Like the other two records, Mystery Ocean is comprised of compositions in odd time signatures which challenge and sooth at once; ambient ruminations of the darker variety; and, lastly, the occasional “bedroom” recording. It clocks in at less than 30 minutes, which belies the fount of ideas ensconced within. Meters from outer space mixed with an indie pop sensibility that breaks the heart. Lots of songs about dreaming: living dreams, walking with dreams, all kinds of dreams. Songs lull you in with pentatonic melodies only to whiplash you with jarring angularity. Despite its various protestations and rebuffings, ultimately something welcoming about the music, wanting to share a worldview, something intimate, revealing, raw, yet at the same time wrapped in a cloak of complexity.
In an interview with Flotzam, Yianni talks about the refusal to comply with traditional verse/melody while nodding his hat to it: “I think I just have a short attention span…I feel bored if something happens too much.” Thank god for his short attention span; it fosters music that defies predictability and keeps the ear engaged. Yes, this record makes me extremely happy, listen after listen, affirmation that people are still pushing boundaries and composing with fire.
Would highly Benaki and Slight Fountain. They also warrant repeat listenings.