Last updated on October 4, 2021
Carl Hauck and co. return with another collection of woozy, weary, fried-out art-rock escapees from a Radiohead era between Ok Computer and Kid A. The former’s brittle, dark attack is still there, cut through with the latter’s uneasy electro sounds and complex layering. “In My Head” drops Hauck’s chest and head voices into a churning mix of stuttering beats, deeply sludgy synths, and harp-like guitar plucks; “I feel like myself / but I don’t like myself” captures the chaotic uncertainty perfectly.
The title track feels like a lost James Blake track, what with the perfect vocal performance against the icy, svelte electro backdrop. “Passenger” is one of the most straightforward tracks here, with hummable earworms and everything; it still is a weird mix of Bon Iver vocals, polyrhythmic snares, and blasted-out synths. “How Can I Even” strips out the beats and vocals for a pure experience of the melodic id of the record; it’s lovely, and feeds perfectly into the late-record highlight “Take It Apart.” More Lifelike is the rare art-rock album that is exciting; Sunjacket captures a specific vision and runs with it in unique and unexpected ways. Highly recommended.