Band: 5th Projekt
Best Element: Strong songwriting
Here at Independent Clauses, we do our best to review every release that comes in our door, and I’d say we do a good job. But sometimes stuff gets lost in the mail on the way to us, CDs get lost on the way out to reviewers, some reviewers quit with our music in tow, files get corrupted, links don’t work, and on and on. We don’t like it when it happens, but sometimes it does.
5th Projekt’s Circadian and its predecessor EP The Tales of Don Quixote are a prime example of the triumph of the forces that be over our desire to review something- because every single last problem that I mentioned in the previous list has happened to 5th Projekt’s music while in our care. It’s patently awful.
But they were insistent on sending us a hard copy version of their release Circadian. Upon receiving the disc, I saw why.
I’ve never been more impressed with an independent CD’s art and packaging- not just because the packaging is unique and beautiful, but because it actually complements the music. The CD comes in a metal case, which underscores the sleek, slick feel the songs have. The art on the cover is ambigram of the title Circadian, which means that you can read the title from two directions- either ‘right side up’, or ‘upside down’, although those really don’t mean much when you have a circular CD case (as they do).
That’s just the outside of the art. I could go into greater detail on the booklet, but you want to know about music.
Circadian’s music lives up to its art in spades. With earlier releases we noted the coldness of the tunes that came from bad use of excess space between the parts. On Circadian, the use of separation in their artsy space-rock/indie rock has been corrected- instead of a detriment, the amount of space is now a positive aspect that sets them apart from the rest of forlorn indie-rockers out there. Tunes such as “Distraktid” are amazing because of their complete control over the mood of a room, despite having barely any interlocking or overlapping parts.
But 5th Projekt isn’t all reverbed guitars and humming bass space-rock- they draw upon significant other influences to create wholly unique band. Tara Rice’s sultry vocals would be right at home in a singer/songwriter showcase at a piano bar, but she leads her ample, mysterious tone to art-rock instead. The drums throughout portray a very interesting tribal motif. Crashing guitars appear in “Spiders”, 60’s folk vibes invade the guitars of “Skepticosm”, and the beginning of “One to Throw Away” has profound influences from epic movie soundtracks.
All these influences combine to make 5th Projekt’s unique sound- a simple yet profoundly moving sound that is fluid, epic, haunting and memorable. If Portishead cleaned up their act a bit, they might sound like 5th Projekt….maybe. But 5th Projekt is truly in a class of their own, fusing genres on top of genres to make a sound that is easily listenable but instantly recognizable. Circadian is an extremely exciting offering on all fronts.