The down-tempo "I Had Another Dream Last Night That You Were a Ghost" sets the pace and tone for this album. Something about this set of songs has the feel of a Shirley Jackson novel: It's all haunted moods and impressionistic imagery, tied together with scenes of striking emotional power. In "Universe," the band seemingly fades into the middle distance like a melodic, pop-inflected Slint, with the calm punctuated by moments of fiery intensity. Elements of Pavement's warped chord arrangements and Codeine's manic-melancholic shifts in tone and rhythm characterize much of the songwriting throughout, especially in the dynamically textured "Wake the Dead," lending it all a high degree of variation and depth. "Softly/Sweetly," with its rapidly evolving tempos and atmospheres, is the perfect coda to an album built on tuneful yet labyrinthine structures.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.