Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Album Review: Free Electric State - Caress

Tuesday, April 20 is an exciting day for Durham foursome Free Electric State. It means the arrival of their debut album Caress on Churchkey records, the Durham label that took them on last December.

Caress is pleasantly surprising in its depth and quality, especially for a first release, managing to sound distant and extraordinarily up close at the same time. It's like the band recorded the album at the bottom of an empty stairwell, and you're standing a few floors up. Despite your distance, the music still envelopes and nearly drowns you in a thick, dark ocean of something that completely transcends the word "noise."

This album is more than just a caress. It's a smother, but in all of the best ways. Caress is dark, but the moderate, steady rhythms that persist throughout most of the songs save the album from slipping towards being depressing.

So far, second track "Six is One" has emerged as a highly praised single, but it is the album's final track "100 Days" that serves as the real standout on Caress. It would have been fine anywhere else on the album, but as the last song, it wraps up everything perfectly, leaving you wanting just a little bit more, just another song or two...but you end up letting Caress play through one more time.

Though it's not officially available until next Tuesday, you can download an .mp3 version of Caress when you preorder it through the Churchkey website. Free Electric State plays a handful of dates around North Carolina this summer, so keep an eye out for those. In the meantime, you can make your way the Pinhook in Durham this Friday night for the free release show.

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