There is a certain brand of dissociation that comes with the listless strumming and bass-snare hypnosis accompanying the drop out lyrics, “I don’t want to know what the future holds until the moment’s through / I want to cut the social ties, embrace impending doom / do you wallow in ugliness, do you swallow your time / I’m feeling quite optimistic I’ll use mine,” on “You Or Any Other Thing” that helps you believe in Brian Wilson’s lasting impression.
In the wake of virtuosic guitarist Chris Reimer’s death, there have been big shoes to fill on the Canadian art-pop scene, and if you’re looking for a repurposed version of Women, this isn’t it. Being Elastic leaves the A&R behind as the trio bares their insecurities with the unexpected grace of a freshman wallflower that just tuned in and dropped out.
A retro-post-punk collision that has thankfully evolved from the stoned meanderings of their debut Taking Trips whose opener “Looking Lapsed” chanted “LET’S GET HIIIIIIIIIIIGH!” with adolescent fervour, the Montreal-via-Halifax group’s lo-fi dissonance shirks that youthful naivety this time around. Moving towards the deconstructed psych-pop that 2012’s Heavily Spaced hinted at, Each Other’s brief, yet impressive progression to multi-movement art-pop seems like it could just be two parts Freak Heat Waves and one part Apples In Stereo garnished with a pinch of Mac DeMarco’s conniving innocence. Well, not exactly…
Where Being Elastic transcends comparisons is the group’s ability to make pyschcoactive start-stop anthems like “Seeing Doubles Dreaming Troubles” blend in perfectly with last weekend’s wine stains while the drawn out lamentations that open “The Trick You Gave Up”, or the tireless hit “Your Ceiling Is My Floor”, tumble from introverted examinations to freewheeling strokes of psych-tinged guitarwork. Transitioning from peppy art school pop to laid back pseudo-romanticisms, the trio quietly shrouds their vulnerabilities in abrupt transitions on cuts like “Send Me Your Signals”, whose hazy refrain declares, “I’m here and there / I’m torn, not scared.”
Being Elastic is an album that maintains its awkward flow without ever feeling awkward. Until it’s given a closer look.
On their own, each instrument falls bitterly to the floor. But their simplicities are well hidden in the clever timing of uncharacteristic sounds that give the album a charming authenticity only home studio production can create to leave dilapidated impressions muddied by a river of reverb that would make a young Tommy Hall jealous. Let this album age and you will discover its intriguing delirium.