Review Summary: Electric Leaves expands their sound, reign in the experimentation, and finally find their sound.Lukedavid & Art Emanuel made this recording.
Justin Weis mastered these songs.
Now you listen.
(Listening on headphones recommended)
This is the entirety of the liner notes for Electric Leaves' sophomore effort, Human Figures.
It's a remarkably accurate representation of the music presented within--moving, mysterious, intense, and to the point. And right from the get-go, you can tell that Lukedavid's music had grown significantly from 2008's debut album, Apple
. Gone are the noise interludes, the straightforward song structure, the minute-long acoustic tracks and the one-note keyboard patterns. In their place are densely textured, no-nonsense, perfectly executed indie rock. And man, is it good.
Opening up the album are Loops and Coils and Soundings in Fathoms, the two ballads of the record. The former song is a primarily keyboard based number, and is the most similar song to the first album--the Kid A-era Radiohead influence is right up front, from the manipulated drums to the laid back keys and vocals. On the other hand, Soundings in Fathoms is a straightforward acoustic indie pop tune, with its accessible feel and catchy melodies accentuated by light drums.
Executioner slowly shifts us towards the other side of Electric Leaves' spectrum, starting off in a similar fashion to Loops and Coils before switching to a more moving, rock direction, which leads into the clear highlight of the album, Clock Crows. This track is everything a good progressive indie song should be: dark, brooding, epic, catchy, powerful, experimental, and ambitious. Starting off with dark acoustic guitars, the drums and keys kick in immediately before the vocals jump in and affirm that this song will have real staying power.
And really, as the album goes on, through another dark track and the progressive and epic closing duet, this is the feeling that prevails through this record: Electric Leaves have truly found their footing in making epic and brilliantly textured downtempo music that jumps between indie and experimental rock as if it were nothing, and they're making some of the best unknown music out there. This is a band who know how to craft intensely driven music and, if they aren't a big deal in the underground in a few years, they certainly should be.
I mean, just try to listen to those opening guitars in Stick Figures Pt. II without being just a little amazed.