Since the days of duo Au.Ra, along Tim Jenkins, and his even older alias Colours, Sydney-bred bassist and composer Tom Crandles has never stopped experimenting with atmospheric sounds through an instinctive and organic approach, however elegant and intricate, between creeping emotional tensions and wistful melodic ecstasies, rapt harmonies and hazy dissonances, always knowing how to carefully create enveloping textures and heartfelt moods, teetering between dream pop and shoegaze with a pinch of psychedelia and a strong electronic imprint, oblique and multifaceted, at the same time peculiar and bewitching.
Tom is back with the new single, “Better”, from his latest project Prudence, taken from his upcoming sophomore EP “Untitled”, which at first quick listen had left me rather lukewarm, as, on the other hand, his off-kilter tunes are not replete with instant hooks, devoting more attention to it constantly grew in me through its intoxicating and teeming groovy scents of ambient, jazz, dub, trip-hop, shoegaze, new wave and avant-pop.
Dusty, disconnected lyrics, induced by the pandemic period, reflect on a “Better” life than the tedious, repetition of inactivity currently experienced.
Skipping low kicks and a steady stark beat, interspersed by smooth scattered off-tempo rhythms, amidst gauzy harmonica flourishes, seamlessly elicit a sinuous enveloping and wandering bass a la Mick Karn that gushes and pulses around glistening guitar ripples, tangling with layers of twinkling glowing synth chords in a hypnotic windy sonic spiral that captures and projects towards unexpected boundaries in which strident frequencies, brittle bright reverbs, flickering jingling drops, ambient echoes and rough scraps intersect and fit together, drawing blurry visions saturated with indissoluble restlessness in an emotional up and down lead by soulful, drowsy vocals’ atmospheric longing of agonized lonely dreams.
One of those pop songs that needs a hint of dedication to be fully appreciated, moreover ‘music should never be heard in the background’, someone who knows it all used to say.
Prudence’s “Untitled” EP is due out on May 14, 2021 via Endless Recordings.
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