Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know of (or are!) a band/artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please hit me up on Twitter @AnOrangeFellow, or alternatively The Underground Blog.
Breathe out, everyone! It is my absolute pleasure to return to working on my baby, the weekly review that is The Underground. The difference is, now The Underground is reaching a much wider audience, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier! It’s the aim of this segment to highlight obscure, internet-dwelling musicians and the more eyes and ears reached the better! I’m so grateful to be doing this again, and am truly humbled to be your guide.
First up on the agenda! We’re going to be going on a recursive journey with a wonderful little band known as Polyenso, who released One Big Particular Loop earlier this year.
One Big Particular Loop is, at its heart, a great, big gallivant of an album. The journey from it’s opening build to its final whispered clutter really does feel like a sprawl. Though not indicative of the rest of the album, the opening and closing songs make for perfect bookends on One Big Particular Loop. What you’ll find between these open arms is an wholly interesting, unique and pleasant trip that paints an instantly intriguing soundscape.
At times the album makes for a perfect, hypnotic groove. Songs like “Falling in Rain” blend brass and percussion with the far-off, dreamy vocals to create the coolest atmosphere. There’s a great element of distance on One Particular Loop that makes you feel like Polyenso have been here before, and that they’re constantly reflecting on how they’ve returned. It’s hard not to find yourself being swept up in the nostalgic, funky and slight melancholy of songs like “Counting Fish” or celestial and faraway jam of “Be Too Well (Always)”.
Though the album certainly has its slower moments, it’s certainly not to say it isn’t engaging. There’s a terrific moments of loudness on the album, and a brilliantly dark, fearful nervousness to tracks like“Meeting Grey (Cricket)”. You also have songs like “Always Ending in You”, which commands your attention almost instantly and holds it throughout its runtime. The fact the album is able to oscillate between these levels of listener involvement whilst always feeling coherent and whole is impressive. The slower songs don’t feel like lulls in One big Particular Loop so much as they simply feel like different phases of the same grand movement.
One Big Particular Loop is a fantastic effort that at once feels both clandestine and oddly familiar, leading you through its caverns and valleys to its final, abstract murmurs.