Akinetic is Chicago singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Erik Halls’ third offering and most complete piece of work to date. That may not come as too much of a surprise having brought in producer/engineer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse/Iron and Wine) to produce and co-record the album.
Opening with a crusty overdriven guitar, Beginning to Fade makes a deceptive first impression, though the vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar and organ soon take over and settle us in to a rich sounding and altogether great opener. Working through the album, there’s some varied sounds coming out of what are in essence, short, well crafted pop songs. The War On Drugs-esque rhythm of Siren Song; the almost Geogaddi-era Boards of Canada drone of New Moon; the beautiful harmonies and descending chorus of Long Way Down which are reminiscent of Magnet.
It’s an album filled with lush and contoured textures that weave an open, expansive soundscapes which actually cause slight problems in of themselves. There are songs on here that sometimes feel a bit lost amongst so much else going on (Cascadia and title track Akinetic being good examples of this). It’s maybe just a little too much decoration on some tracks but perhaps I’m being slightly too picky – otherwise, this is a great album.
As a slight aside, but worth noting: listening to this album on headphones brought out so much more of the tone, the depth and the clarity of the album. It’s a beautiful sounding record.
In Tall Buildings’ Akinetic came out on Western Vinyl on 2nd March 2018.