Editors’ Notes Free Moral Agents’ blend of tribal jazz, funk and post-rock might — unfortunately — elude those accustomed to easy labels on their music. The second studio album from the group led by keyboardist Isaiah Ikey Owens (the Mars Volta, Long Beach Dub Allstars) is a many tentacled creature, with vocalist Mendee Ichikawa lending a soft, mystical side to the oscillating synths, squawking horns, wiry guitars, and scattering of strings, congas and other assorted musical flavors. “When I Smile” is a great example of one song covering lots of territory in a surprisingly compact four and a half minutes; weepy strings bleed into an exciting barrage of stomping guitars, which yield to the funk rhythms of syncopated vintage organs and crisp percussion. “Dragon Prow” is a twitchy rocker, “North Is Red” blares cinematic horns over loping tablas, and “Sound at Sea” employs twinkling guitars and Ichikawa’s lilting voice, which should please any indie rock fan. (They also cover Sonic Youth’s “Little Trouble Girl”). If you really need a simple label, file this under “V” for Very Cool Music.

SONG
North Is Red
1
4:53
 
Sound At Sea
2
4:19
 
Dragon Prow
3
2:34
 
When I Smile
4
4:22
 
Six Degrees
5
5:31
 
Systole
6
5:02
 
Gem From A Broken Rock
7
6:05
 
Aravand
8
7:29
 
Girls With Glasses Only Please
9
5:34
 
Little Trouble Girl
10
6:05
 
Ageless
11
7:44
 
Cherry Cove
12
1:50
 
Deadhearts
13
4:36
 

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