Adult Jazz, “Gist Is”
The debut songs from this new Leeds-based quartet hover between chin-stroking artfulness and joyful minimalism. Their sound is a spare one, with long passages of reedy guitar interspersed with melodic vocal hooks and hard-to-guess drum patterns. Don’t mistake this for difficult music; it’s a smooth ride, one that could easily sit next to Dirty Projectors and Grizzly Bear from a stylistic point of view. Adult Jazz vocalist Harry Burgess is the key figure here; his phrasing and wordplay makes it easy to get lost in the brisk, slightly lopsided groove of “Pigeon Skulls.” There is a building of sound on the longer tracks like “Hum” and “Spook” that show signs of a brilliant merging of the minimal neo-soul vibe of something like Rhye, with an inventive take on sampling à la the Books, but the commendable debut full-length never entirely comes to fruition. Maybe the second time will be the charm?