Review Summary: Childspeak hits their stride.
Throughout this past decade, Childspeak has been reinventing the instrumental/post-rock form—evidenced herein by Indulgent Endeavors. I remember seeing Childspeak for the first time in 2017, and I felt like I was observing a sonic artifact that had slipped through from another universe. This record is richer, more focused, and more refined than anything I’ve ever heard from them.
Where within the post-rock/instrumental cosmos does Childspeak exist? The same rooted, timeless position as Caspian and Explosions in the Sky: their music is transformative by virtue of the unique way they weaponize their instruments to create vivid soundscapes. Endeavors is innovative in ways both visible (formal experimentation) and invisible (stealth experiments that reveal their presence by how they affect their listener).
Recorded at the legendary Robert Lang Studios (Nirvana, The Fall of Troy, MxPx), the album is lush and full of life. Bri and Michael’s guitars weave around each other perfectly, allowing the rhythmic tapestry that T.J. and Derek lay down to broaden and glimmer. I truly love the dynamic that’s been harnessed and shines through in this immersive world that Childspeak has captured. Jagged peaks of trebly fretboard tapping seamlessly taper into blissful valleys of sound, dripping with weeping finger-picking. Shifting to each environment at precisely the right time, Childspeak reveals the entire spectrum of their music’s incandescence.
To some, math-rock beckons the expectation of a repetitive form, meandering into an unreturnable cacophony that segues into a breakdown. Indulgent Endeavors is anything but that, and furthermore, it's exactly that: indulgent as fuck. I cannot get enough of it. Please keep making music, Childspeak, and please adorn our lives with another endearing record.