Local Music Reviews June 2018

Local Review: Sister Adolescent – I Am Not So Far

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Sister Adolescent
I Am Not So Far

Self-Released
Street: 03.17
Sister Adolescent = Beach House + Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Savannah and Trevor Free, Seth Ringger, Matthew Benfell and Ethan Westover make up the Provo dreampop collective Sister Adolescent. I Am Not So Far is an open letter to relationships in all their complexity and need, in a refreshingly shorter-format album of a concise eight tracks. Lilting, glimmering vocals infuse the album via Savannah, whose voice is wholly on-trend for the current women-lead demand in the sophistipop sphere. Opening track “Sacred Deer” offers effervescent synthesizers and ethereal vocal melody. Nouveau hippie, experimental, new wave and occasional hip-hop vibes fill the multiple tracks, with “Water + Weeds” and “Juniper” on the forefront of strangely beautiful, eclectic artworks on this album. Track titles can be deceiving, with some connoting dark, gruesome themes while being sonically soft and blunted. “Blood/Horror” is a lovely, ambient tune, yet it’s embedded with oddly prickly imagery. “Dilettante,” conversely, takes on a dark, ominous electronic tone with sorrowful guitar and proved to be one of the most complex and ear-catching tracks on the album. Wandering sonic landscapes and layered vocals embody “Better Love,” leading the listener down an ecstatic, glittering rabbit hole to some sort of serene wonderland. Brilliantly placed title and closing track “I Am Not So Far” rings with dramatic sounds like synthetic church bells in the distance. Concluding with a twinkling sense of cessation, it leaves the listener feeling curious yet peaceful and contemplative. The whole of this album is intelligent, evocative and consistent without being tedious or indistinguishable from song to song. I Am Not So Far is indie poetic-pop shoegaze at its cleanest and most translucent. This is without a doubt one of my favorite local collections to come from the ambient-pop pseudo-genre this season, a set of mesmerizing and skillful songcraft. –Paige Zuckerman