by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Brattleboro, VT via Baltimore's Cold Clod has taken a big shift in sound on their latest album, Breaks Up, due out July 11th via Dead Definition Records. While their last album, Through A Window, A Wave was steeped in foggy lo-fi electronics and near ambient atmosphere, Ben Currotto and company's latest takes a more nuanced approach, still ripe with earnest emotions and dampened melodies, but increasingly vibrant, even in shades of grey. Together with a cast of rotating musicians, the band's new album is full of texture and auxiliary pleasures, something new to hear under each delicate layer, as stunning at its most stripped and lush.
Opening with the delicate "Fuzzy Boundaries," Currotto is joined by Bethlehem Steel/Giant's Christina Puerto (vocals) and Alex Maddalena (piano), creating something that's tempered by Americana and folk, but driven with a mysterious resolve. It's chiming in all the right spots, a break in anxious energy that instead feels optimistic on its surface. Brisk harmonies and splendid earth-tones work their way from the opening track throughout the album, bolstering Currotto's restrained voice and solemn observations. "Trail Vision" is peeled back and primarily acoustic, bubbling with a cautious progression in the hook and the duel vocals that follow onward. Puerto's voice blends perfectly with Currotto's, the two speaking emotional volumes together without ever raising their voices. Their concerns are expressed in simplicity and space, opting for the less is more approach to weary songwriting. "Into Dust" brings these feelings to an almost epic level, sweeping strings leading the charge, while "Some Trees" is an expansive minimalist song that embraces natures beauty and the light that comes with it.
The album ebbs and flows like low in the setting sun, just off the a wooded path, and every bit as beautiful as those surroundings may seem.
Cold Clod's Breaks Up is out July 11th via Dead Definition Records.