Sitting quietly as the day softens into evening, the Cambridge quartet have penned a glistening ode to the nag of yearning in this rousing slice of synth-pop.
Vincent, Blue Period Picasso, Night Café. It’s well documented that paintings inspire songs, but does it work the other way around? Of course it does. When I hear Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song I think of a nautical hoard raging into battle, or Bowie’s Space Odyssey framing the drama and tension of space exploration. Today’s noble subjects Sages Of The Subway, maybe unbeknown to them, have airbrushed a portrait of their own.
Like the wonders of a blank canvas, ‘My Mind’ is a world of impressionist opportunity, a mysterious playground swayed by hidden biases and cognitive distortion. The mind is a convoluted place. It can play the deftest of tricks on the wisest of people. It’s ability to deceive and then amble provocatively into your subconscious is the reason why so many of us struggle to contain it, but this record celebrates it. But instead of feeling apprehensive, lead singer Dean Benzaken romanticises the idea of trying to shake off the crux of sentimentality. When dealing with the power of thought, subjection is the methodology, and this visionary tetrad have combined the illusion of movement and spontaneity to create a sensory masterpiece.
The tight rolling amen break stipples punchy dots of vivid cerulean as the base tone, leaving room for subtle blots of coruscating synths to shimmer and blink. Clouds of guitars encircle the mix with drenched reverb tails, beaming a bright textural hue into the backdrop. The pièce de résistance is Benzaken‘s elevating vocal cadence, a creamy rumination of introspection that you can’t help but unite with .
In comparison to their previous discography, this record digresses into more pop-inspired roots with specks of americana flowing in its veins, and that’s fine. Sometimes you have to forget where you’ve been in order to focus on where you’re going. With the softer side of Foals in its sights, ‘My Mind’ is a road trip anthem of the highest order. Picture it, driving down a seemingly never ending road in a beaten up old station wagon, that steel marvel of bench seats and faux wood paneling soaking in the beaming glint of the sun.
They say the beauty of things lies in the mind that contemplates it, and in this case, my mind has concluded that Sages Of The Subway have produced a single that is nothing short of wondrous.