11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nick Thorburn’s creative streak continues under all circumstances. His divorce fueled the down-and-out reflections from the previous year’s A Sleep & a Forgetting and casts an emotional hangover on Ski Mask. With the exception of the ebullient “Wave Forms,” the general tone here is of anger and frustration. The lyrics paint a picture, but the music colors in the feeling; whether it’s the complicated guitar-keyboard knots of “Death Drive” or the ennui-loaded, Triffids-like reverb tinting the somber balladry of “Becoming the Gunship,” there’s a beautiful but futile sense to living. The manic “Nil” sounds like a fake smile being flashed before the existential “Sad Middle” scrolls through a variety of rhythms amid the lonely synth line driving the song. This type of push-pull throughout the album creates ambivalent moments where one's never sure where Thorburn is aiming. “Hushed Tones,” “Shotgun Vision," and “Of Corpse” are dark epiphanies accompanied by melodies and arrangements that differ greatly from verse to chorus to bridge. Try keeping up.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nick Thorburn’s creative streak continues under all circumstances. His divorce fueled the down-and-out reflections from the previous year’s A Sleep & a Forgetting and casts an emotional hangover on Ski Mask. With the exception of the ebullient “Wave Forms,” the general tone here is of anger and frustration. The lyrics paint a picture, but the music colors in the feeling; whether it’s the complicated guitar-keyboard knots of “Death Drive” or the ennui-loaded, Triffids-like reverb tinting the somber balladry of “Becoming the Gunship,” there’s a beautiful but futile sense to living. The manic “Nil” sounds like a fake smile being flashed before the existential “Sad Middle” scrolls through a variety of rhythms amid the lonely synth line driving the song. This type of push-pull throughout the album creates ambivalent moments where one's never sure where Thorburn is aiming. “Hushed Tones,” “Shotgun Vision," and “Of Corpse” are dark epiphanies accompanied by melodies and arrangements that differ greatly from verse to chorus to bridge. Try keeping up.

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