What would you say to someone who described something like: “this sounds like an Ambien coated in sarcasm and taken down with a shot of vodka and the playfulness of heartache”. Would you say they are drunk or full of life? You may even call them for their wanting to get at your brain.
In the early 1980s they called it ‘pop’. In the early 1990s they called it ‘alt’. In the early 2010s, they called it ’emo’. It was still the same. Something that had just bourne into your ear and never when out. It was a song you just went with the melody out with and the lyrics hit you. Taylor Swift, you can’t hold a goddamn candle to it, nary blow out a birthday candle.
All of those couldn’t cover of what HTRK sounds like. It is all of them combined. The somber yet siren tone of Jonnine Standish and the production and guitars of Nigel give an air to those waiting what is the coming off of their AMAZING sophomoric album Psychic 9-5 Club.
There has been bandied about talk that psychics are soothsayers. There is talk in smokey cabals that psychics are merely charlatans. Let me tell you that this album, believer or not will leave you spellbound and I will release this sage onto you, as a seance… oh what the hell am I saying? Music is subjective. You either like it or you don’t.
What I present to the Court is my weirdly understanding of a brilliant album.
Track * 7. Chinatown Style:
If there was an introductory track, this is it. It is bathed in this ooze of lethargy and drunken sensibility with a bath bomb of sensuality infused in a tub of good vibes. I say bath bomb because this is the thing that grows on you like a Poison Ivy (also infused with a sensuality). This is a song you may have after a late night of good meeting with friends or a good meeting with someone you know a little more. It’s slithery and the thriving bassline only complements the dreamy vocals. The beating synths only drive the point home… what was is the point? Don’t you want to stay the night? (BONUS: the music video)
Track * 6. Love is Distraction:
For those of you in contemplation of what makes you, an existentialist view. This track is still confrontational in its lyrics ‘Elbows flash like Diamonds’ bringing you into further cogitation. Love is truly a distraction. The sharpest part of our body it isn’t. It is our mind. It can make you impious and worship the only one you truly love, work. It can be your better splint, better spent.
Track * 4. Soul Sleep:
When all of that thought gets too much, one needs a bit of rest, the likes of which even Orpheus could be jealous of. We go into this song that has a melody and Casio that can put even Galactus to sleep for a few hours. Even the gods rest. In that, we realize what’s truly great… Ourselves!
Track * 5. Wet Dream:
Now the title sounds juvenile, and the first opening lines sound like a six-grade health teacher trying to hamfistedly guide you through puberty. This is what’s going through you emotionally when you’ve broken up or hit a roadblock. You’ve had that nice slumber and now have a new lean on life. Time to wake up and meet the…
Track * 2. Blue Sunshine:
This is the most bright song and why not? It’s sonically sensational and sparkling. It makes you think of a blue sun. It’s kind of the way you feel after sex or regretting sex, but the afterglow is still there. It’s a malleable taste and it can cum in all flavors. You are beginning to fall in love with yourself again and this wave comes upon you. This wonderful, nearly body experience of freedom.
Track * 3. Feels Like Love:
This love was always there, but there was always lingering. Thus, the slow 808 beat. It’s a basic song you would listen to on the beach. This is a contemplation song you listen to while kicking your feet up in the constantly upending sand on the shore as the waves are awash on your ankles and feet, each wave and dune of sand getting lower and lower. Aphex Twin would marry this beat and then take it out to lunch on the boardwalk because it’s probably the deepest beat in the entire album.
Track * 1. Give It Up:
This is the first track that got me into this whole album. It’s slow, yet violent. The beat itself is entrancing but oppressive. The synths are catchy yet worrisome. The opening line is enticing, but inviting like how a wolf welcomes death. She knows it’s all coming and braces herself. There’s some good wordplay in this like ‘knock my precious mettle sideways’… oh, that’s not speaking of a Caddy. It is basically the song of someone who is bracing herself for impact and in love with the whole wreck. As a ghost, she would probably take a picture of the wreck.
Track * 8. The Body You Deserve:
We finish off with the dreamiest of all the songs. Interpret it as you want, but what is implied is that after that love crash, you finally get to Heaven. Death is inevitable for some relationships. You can restructure yourself. That body you deserve is not someone you want but someone who you want to be. You are reincarnated. This is a big win because everything on this big blue spinning marble is happening faster than we can know and slower than we can fathom.
That being said, I honestly put this album on one of my top 20s. It actually has the musical sensibility and morose of Everything But The Girl and Nick Cave, but with the sensuality of Kate Bush and Kylie Minogue.
This band deserves to be nearly in its own category, if not for anything, I cannot goddamned place it. It’s too dreamy, too weird, too awesome to contain words.
In other words, check it out on Spotify or their music videos/live performances on Youtube.