Sleek, sultry, and groovy—as in, it has a groove—“Peripheral Visionaries” sounds like dance music for the sleep-deprived: you kind of want to move around, but maybe not as much as you want to nurse one last cocktail and just kind of zone out, with a blurry smile on your face.
This one’s all about sound construction, about how sounds of different tone and fiber interact. Listen, first, to whatever it is that sounds somehow like an electronic accordion—you hear it first in the introduction at around 0:10—and then listen to how, underneath the male vocal in particular, it produces an Auto-Tune-like effect, but far less awful, thankfully. (Unless that is, also, Auto-Tune and I’m god forbid getting used to it.) There’s a definitive way this sound adds something visceral to the song that is nevertheless neither rhythm nor volume nor melody. Then there’s that plucky, rapid-fire synthesizer (I think) that builds interest and character against the more languorous beat. Those two sounds, weaving in and around each other, are the backbone of this deceptively easy-going piece; together they create an almost palpable sense of…breathing, somehow. Like the song is breathing itself. And okay, maybe I’m the one who is sleep-deprived.
With its dreamy, pseudo-tropical lilt and its studio-crafted textures, “Peripheral Visionaries” is the end result of an unusual collaboration between the Montreal-based Young Galaxy, a quartet previously known for a shoegazy kind of dream pop, and the Swedish producer Dan Lissvik. Apparently, the band completed the album, their third, and sent it off to Lissvik, who twiddled and tweaked and softwared the thing into something quite different than what the band had recorded. The album, appropriately enough, will be called Shapeshifting; it’s coming out on Paper Bag Records in February. MP3 via Paper Bag; thanks to Largehearted Boy for the head’s up.