Thursday, October 29, 2020

The band may be named Gloom Balloon, but their new album is anything but gloomy!

Photo by Joelle Blanchard
I’d been waiting for the “right time” to write about Gloom Balloon’s latest LP So Bergman Uses Back To Get His Point Across, I Feel Like I Have Chosen Rock But At What A Cost, but it's such an odd album I've decided any time would've been the right time to share it with you, and that any time that's the right time is now.

And that opening sentence should give you an idea of how dense and knotty this new album is. Hell, the album title alone would've done that, right?

So how do I describe this in a way that'll make sense to you? The quickest route, the elevator pitch, would be to imagine early Bright Eyes recordings traveling over the terrain usually dominated by Broadway musicals. 

I've listened to this album a dozen times and I confess I still I have no idea what to make of this as a whole. It's not challenging, but it is beset by a fractured ambition that makes listening to this akin to watching someone paint themselves into a corner and then consistently find a way to navigate the room and reach a pleasing conclusion.

Sonically, it runs the gamut of bedroom DIY to grand studio-sounding productions, complete with strings and choirs, all in service of what sound like snippets from some future musical standards, but I haven't a clue if they're actually connected or that's the just the impression the music gives. And I'm not convinced it matters.

But the reason this is the any time now being the right time to share it with you is because it is a winding and complicated musical journey that's still incredibly accessible, and will allow you to get lost along its twisting corridors and escape the world, at least for about 40 minutes at a time.

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