Label: Paper Garden Records
Release Date: July 17th
When starting a record review it’s always important to find an angle of sorts. This reviewer often has to fight the urge to use meteorological metaphors. Such is the varied nature of weather, and the way in which it affects our thoughts and feelings, it offers a seemingly endless supply of interesting and witty (probably) play-on-words. Conveyor’s debut EP was one such record that could quite easily fall into this category. Across it’s four tracks, the record was a dazzling display of Summer; bright and shining rays of sun interspersed with moments of laid back coolness.
A year on from that, the Brooklyn quartet finally drop their debut LP in the form of their self-titled album, via the ever-brilliant Paper Garden Records. So does that ‘Sunshine‘ analogy still hold true here? Well, yes and no. The moments of endearing brightness that peppered Sun Ray are still present, but the band have also thrown in a host of dream-like sonic soundscapes that not only offer a change of pace but also a complete change of scenery.
This dreamy sensibility is heightened by the bands wonderful touch with both melodies and harmonies. Many of the tracks here soar rather saunter; propelled high by group vocals both industrious and startling in equal measure. The way they tie-in with the ever-expansive instrumental flourishes gives the band a distinct and unique sound and one that shapes this collection of songs into a fully-formed body of work. For every inspired pop-hit (and there are many; from the the wonderfully-constructed Mukraker, through the slow-building majesty of Right Sleep, to the dazzling strut of Mane) there is a balance and a counter-point (the barely-there nuanced simmering of Homes); the result being an ever-changing kaleidoscopic outpouring of sound and colour and an overall feel that manages to be structured and finely-crafted yet also bold, brave and brilliantly unleashed.
What good pop music, and furthermore Conveyor, does so well is create songs and feelings that manage to be child-like without ever feeling childish; weighty sentiments masked by varied and veracious instrumentation, like tampered memories of youth.
For all the carefree frolicking - and believe me, this record is brilliant fun – it’s the ambiguity, a true sense of heart if you will, which remains hidden just beneath the surface, that gives this record it’s true place in the seldom visited space between light and shade, agitated and content, the head and the heart.
Like a bright but complicated smile on the face of someone new, you’re never quite sure where you stand with Conveyor, or even know where they themselves wish to stand. One thing’s for sure though; whichever place they try to find their feet you can rest assured we’ll be right there standing alongside them, for theirs is undoubtedly a journey worth following.
Words by Tom Johnson