|MH-276 A Lull - Confetti
Confetti, the life-affirming debut from Chicago’s quintet, A Lull, grabs your attention from its first explosion and deconstructs you further with each subsequent, colorized blast. The band has spent glorious ages supplementing layers of guitars, bass, electronics and vocals by banging on drums (as well as recording rustling bags of trash, throwing bottles against walls and pounding away at anything in sight), eventually coming to the cacophonous percussion and everything else wall of sound that makes Confetti's sound unmistakable. The fervor of these endlessly layered, volatile songs is cooled by the voice and lyrics of Nigel Evan Dennis, who covers the grandiosity of each track with his emotionally entangled lyrics. Though the aural tone of Confetti is one of almost overwhelming joy, a sense of longing and regret is palpable between the lines. It’s as if every song is being sung to the face of a loved one at their breaking point. Though their sound is unmistakably their own, the concise romanticism harnessed by A Lull can at times conjure the songwriting ethos of Bon Iver, the instrumental indulgence of Sufjan Stevens or the garishly sensual emotional lift of Explosions In The Sky. Confetti's sense of hope and musical perfection captivates.
|A Lull is like the current crop of Blitzen Trappers and Fleet Foxes all playing at once. - The Village Voice / A Lull stand eerily and mightily apart from their contemporaries. - MP3 Hugger / Think about every time you’ve wanted to immerse yourself in the sheer energy and force of an album, now take a look at Confetti and give yourself an experience. - The Line Of Best Fit
|Rhythm is often overlooked as an emotional delivery device when it comes to music, taking a back-seat (quite literally) more often than not to it's more celebrated cousins 'Melody' and 'Arrangement'. Chicago natives 'A Lull' don't see it that way and thank christ for that as their peerless experiments with percussion have resulted in one of the most striking albums of the year. Ignore the consistently striking beats for a second though and the basic sound A Lull manage to conjure up could be described as the bastard son of My Bloody Valentine and CAN with shades of Battles mathematical precision but of course to ignore the percussion here would be like telling you to ignore Thom Yorke's vocals on The King Of Limbs as it's the foundation which hold everything here up.
Of course it's not all skittering drums and boomy atmospherics, in fact at the heart of many of these songs lies perfectly crafted pop ('White Girl' especially could almost be a Friendly Fires song were it not for the mounting sense of dread). For a record so heavily focused on rhythm in fact it's remarkably light, frontman Nigel Evan Dennis's mordant delivery off-set by an uplifting melody and sense of real purpose on the opening 'Weapons For War', a song which will sound familiar to those who spent time with Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi's 'Go' record last year. Dennis's lyrics are dependably vague and esoteric ("I went home with my very best friend/With a gun, with a blade, with a name") but his melody and general delivery is direct, focused and grounded and what with the general tribal density of the music surely any grand lyrical statements would be lost to most listeners anyway.
The highlights are numerous with special mention due to the gloriously confusing 'White Girl' which sounds like a Postal Service song remixed by Aphex Twin and the grinding 'Dark Stuff' which matches it's claustrophobic, syncopated rhythms to a deceptively delicate melody. 'Pregnancy' meanwhile is a tense exploration of paranoia which sees the most apt use of free jazz saxophone since Radiohead's 'National Anthem' and the closing looped soundscapes of 'Atyche' unravels into an ambient mesh of drowning glitches and a fading chorus of voices which sounds at once both deflated and triumphant (an apt analogy for the album as a whole perhaps?).
Confetti is as fractured and complex as it's title suggests, a record which delights as much in the cracks between beats as the beats themselves. The sound is hard to classify as either pop, or experimental, organic or electronic, it's all of these things and so much more besides and each listen will reveal more and more to patient ears. A definite recommendation then! Just make sure your first play through is via a decent pair of headphones, the head-rush is monumental! - Subba Cultcha