Exploded View – “Raven Raven”

Enticing title’s aside (for this site anyway) the first taste of the upcoming album from Exploded View is a sinister pop gem. The band’s previous outing for Sacred Bones, their 2016 eponymous debut, was delightfully disjointed, embracing dissonance as a key element to their off-kilter pop, flickering through sounds like a broken slide carousel. Here, though, they’re smoothing things out – welding ‘80s goth atmospherics to ‘90s industrial pop machinations – echoing the infectious, bittersweet shake of Black Box Recorder and the buttoned-down darkness of Portishead. The Mexico City leans into pop’s embrace but leaves rough edges peeking out from their cavernous cardboard box beats. The track slinks its way through the headphones with a gnawing urgency that places the track among their best. I have to wonder if this foreshadows a dark drape of an album that’s sliding into the velveteen sound they’re pursuing here, or if like last time, they’ll break up the shimmer with a few twists of the knife every know and again. Either outcome, I’m intrigued.


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