A Look in The Local Bin: Your Friend & Organized Crimes

There’s something to be said about the depth, the space that reverb drenched vocals add to music. Sometimes, increasing the room a song takes up is the absolute wrong choice–it only magnifies every mistake within the track. But sometimes it makes the song come alive, turns it into an entity that’s larger than life. Your Friend and Organized Crimes use this effect to its fullest potential in their latest releases.

Lawrence’s Your Friend makes music that is stripped down to its necessities. That said, her arrangements never lose the largess that accompanies the fullest ensembles. Her debut LP, Gumption, takes the threads from her Jekyll/Hyde EP and gives them a stronger presence.

From the first song of the album, “Heathering,” Taryn Miller (the mastermind behind Your Friend) displays her trademark, breathy vocals. Yet, there’s something more confident in the way her voice swings around the song’s melodies. This confidence moves from the vocals into the densely layered instrumental track.

Throughout Gumption, Miller plays her instruments with more urgency, with a sense of direction. If Jekyll/Hyde could be considered an aural equivalent of a lazy river, then Gumption is the Missouri at its highest. The first single, “Come Back From It,” splits the line between jittering dance beats and ethereal wisps of sound.

“Come Back From It” sounds like a collaboration between Bon Iver and Beirut. It’s equal part groove and texture set-up does well to give it a tension that draws its listeners into its eddying swirls. And this sort of structure is found throughout Gumption–which is both a mark of progression from Miller’s debut EP and a way to make an incredible first LP.

Seemingly on the opposite end of the spectrum, Organized Crimes’ “Bel-Ray Flats” / “You Knew It Already” 7″ is an energetic collage of synthy leads and fuzzy textures. Coupling this with the duo-turned-quartet’s ability to mix silky melodies with melancholy, the single bodes well for the band’s inevitable full length.

The single’s A side, “Bel-Ray Flats,” does well to nod to the influence of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti while adding a more dynamic structure to their forebears sound. The result is a song that can be dropped out to or danced to (maybe both simultaneously). The “Bel-Ray Flats” / “You Knew It Already” 7″ comes on hot pink wax–a color that perfectly matches the single’s tone.

If you weren’t able to catch Your Friend last week at Liberty Hall, you might have to wait until the summer to see her play in the area again. Organized Crimes has a few shows set up (one in Lawrence with CS Luxem and Real Adults and one at Mills Record Company with Yes You Are). Until then, there’s always these records and more local releases to check out in store.

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