Light Passing through Murky Waters

A Lull wasn’t happy with just putting out one album this year. In the vein of Portland indie-rockers Menomena, this Chicago quintet revisit their dense and dreamy experimentation with four tracks that show notable growth since their last release. An extension to May’s Confetti, here new songs have been mounted with high production value, letting their dynamic movement realize its full potential.

Thanks to pristine studio work, the band’s layered compositions of dark indie rock can expand in a space that is all the more engaging. Often, moments of rhythmic intensity dissipate into space to let intertwining voices float in emptiness before plunging once again into a cold lake of reverb as rays of light cut through its murky substructure. It’s a game of tension and release that persists for the whole record, moving from the hook-happy “Pot Luck” all the way to the meditative blackness of “The Pit.”

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Songs rise from percolating silence; bright melody adorns a framework of blurry lines; a peaceful chorale takes center-stage. The singing conjures lines that seem almost plucked from memory, finding familiarity in their simplicity. They pose questions about the future and bleed into haunting, rumbling rhythms to hunt for complex answers. Fuzz comes and goes, but there is an ever-present heaviness about this record, an ambient sediment setting the stage for percussive play and echoing synth. While there are moments of brightness on this record, it evokes a mood much deeper than its lengthier counterpart. This release runs about 20 minutes, with only the strongest of their palette invited. It will be something really special if the band can apply this kind of atmosphere and flow to a full LP.