Two Singles from Craft Spells

Craft Spells drops its latest album, Nausea, today. The band’s debut, Idle Labor, caught my attention in 2011 with its dreamy swells and danceable riffs. While these aspects are definitely still present in the music, an evolution in the band’s aesthetics seems to have occurred between then and now because Craft Spells is darker and tighter than it has been before. The band seems focused on developing heavier and darker songs. Nausea swims through humming textures and shimmering leads with an intensity of someone afraid to drown. The two singles off the album capture the different faces of this intensity.

“Breaking The Angle Against The Tide” begins with muted strumming that blooms into a swirl of thickened low ends and sparkling leads. When the vocals come in, they’re breathy and fill the remain aural space left in the track before diving below the waves of sounds. The track itself has an unsure energy trademark of Craft Spells’ earlier work. That said, the song has a depth, both actually and conceptually, that seemed absent from Idle Labor. “Breaking The Angle Against The Tide” boils under all the layers of effects that blur the instrumentation together, resulting in a track that has multifaceted tensions throughout its construction.

The second single off Nausea, “Komorebi,” exhibits a more quieted energy. Reserved behind sawing violins and smokey piano, the song stands clear through its gentle riffing. In Japanese, komorebi means the sunlight filtered through tree leaves. This seems to be perfect for describing the song. Its darkened centers are sliced with bits of light. “Komorebi” exudes an elegance and nonchalance from its eddying instrumentation that create the perfect atmosphere for the vocals. Still breathy and evading, the lyrics wade through their own density to create melodies that will stay stuck in your head for days. The combination of all these layers fill out the acoustic space without being overwhelming.

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