News from Nowhere
Considering the creative strides Darkstar's co-founders (producers James Young and Aiden Whalley) made on their last LP—2010's North, which brought a full-time vocalist into the fold (James Buttery) and refused to replicate their breakthrough single, "Aidy's Girl is a Computer"—it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear yet another sonic shift on the trio's second album. And yet here we are, trying to make sense of News From Nowhere, a delicately weaved dream world that begins with a simple request ("wake me up") and ends with a seven-minute downward spiral of gently teased drone tones and vaporized vocals. Somewhere in between, Darkstar alludes to everything from the wild brushstrokes of Animal Collective's back catalog ("Amplified Ease," "You Don't Need a Weatherman") to the kind of shimmering slow-burners you want to hear as you slowly lose consciousness (" -," "Bed Music - North View"). It all ties together perfectly, however, which may explain why Warp asked listeners to "take your time, immerse yourself" while exploring an early stream of the record.