Voices Underwater – Trip the Light Fantastic
When I hear the phrase “trip the light fantastic” it is usually within the context of a sarcastic or comedic flashback to the ‘70s and the style or music of that time.
In the case of Voices Underwater’s new album, it is the culmination of each word – trip, light, and fantastic, to describe just what these boys have been up to.
TTLF is both “thinking man’s music” and an escape into the abyss as they navigate to and fro with a compass made of J-ello, and with every turn one is both mystified and pleasantly surprised.
I did pick up on some melodic tones from the ‘70s on the intro track, “Sounds of Engineering,” but with this new endeavor VU has gotten further on their path to the future, using a variety of tricks, tones, and knob turning to take the genre of indie rock in a completely different direction.
Fitting for an Icelandic adventure or a tranquil walk near a quiet stream, “The Blueprint Song” twinkles with fine, spider web reflections. The heaviness of “White Envelope” and “The Giant Paws of Black Bears” takes me back to one of my favorite eras in songwriting during the mid to late ‘90s, when Sebadoh, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr., Hum and Nada Surf were the darlings of the time.
I have to give a nod to the ending of “Sunset” where the power seemed to go out on the turntable playing this song, as it slowly stops and folds over into the opening of “1000 Tiny Cuts.” This beauty also stands apart with a chewy, taffy beat that continues to just get sweeter.
Voices Underwater is topping the charts in my Billboard brain and I have to give a big round of applause for Trip the Light Fantastic. They are far from succumbing to the pathetic hit formula of the time and are instead, bringing us into a whole different world of music as it can be, as it should be: individualistic and full of expression, with a wink of humor, which we all need right now.
They play their CD release party tonight at the Hi-Dive with D. Biddle and Home Recording Project.