Bands are like bats. They make noise, let it bounce back at them, and then use these reverberations to form a picture of their environment and their own place in it. Take, for instance the Ebb and Flow -- drummer Sara Cassetti, guitarist Sam Tsitrin and keyboardist Roshy Kheshti -- who triangulate a space between them that teems with dim shapes and spectral silhouettes. The San Francisco trio's debut full-length, aptly dubbed Echolocation, is a cross-hatching of off-kilter pop, lambent jazz tones and rich strains of vintage synths and vibes, shaded by the vocals of Tsitrin and Kheshti, a Russian and an Iranian immigrant, respectively. Like Blonde Redhead, Stereolab and Steely Dan synchronized by sonar, the Ebb and Flow ties tinkering and instinct into a vision of indie rock that's both playful and mysterious -- and describes a sonic domain all its own.
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