Discerning whether you are listening to a radiator hum or simply waiting for something to happen is a common feeling to have while listening to Evil Milk, The Very Hush Hush’s latest effort. But the waiting is almost always gifted with the fabulously laid out tracks and the incredibly intriguing mystery left for each listener. Sometimes swooning to deliriously well-written and simply beautiful piano solos to dizzying electronic fueled hazes, The Very Hush Hush take chance after chance in each carefully planned piece. But do not let the term `plan’ fool you—one would assume the sounds herein almost certainly had to have been constructed by accident or improvisation and the band just kept on running with it, with good reason.
Oceanic waves whisper the lyrics in “Positive Index,” seductively transforming the mood of the album to a more pensive and warm frame of mind. Lucid dreamlike experimentation throughout the entire album is rewarding to the listener as each track takes you farther and farther away from the grip of normality. The tracks are short, sometimes ending abruptly and leaving you wondering if a new song has begun or whether the current song has just changed course. The fluid way the album flows in and out of itself with familiar piano pieces and stark percussion bringing it all together time and again.
Given the experimental nature of the Very Hush Hush, some parts seem random and a bit awkward. However, it works in the album’s best interest. Precisely placed silences and frames of seeming background noise graze the album, creating interludes between songs. The almost indecipherable lyrics are haunting, yet also captivating. In the brief moments of audible lyrics, the listener forgets that lyrics are even present with such lovely piano pieces and instrumentals taking over the field of sound.
“Lichens” is a prime example of the contemporary piano talent of The Very Hush Hush. Beautifully arranged and even more elegantly executed, the track is an inspired work of musical genius. Closing out the album is “Gilded,” a track with the most prominent vocal performance and the most heart-wrenching style. Indifference oozes from the sappy vocalist that would conventionally be considered trite. But in the finale of the album, closes it with one of the more memorable tracks and one that more than likely stretched the band’s comfort level.
Experimental, yes. Futuristic, yes. Stereotypical? No. The Very Hush Hush play with modern simplicity and equal inspiration. Falling in love with the piano is once again a treat in Evil Milk.
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