Apparently, there is a right way to listen to some records, and I got it wrong when playing LVL UP‘s new EP, Three Songs. According to the lo-fi group’s Bandcamp page, listeners should “[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][dim] the lights, burning all candles found within the dwelling. With eyes open toward the ceiling, the listener feels dull heat from the candles in front of them. Eyes closed now, the listener begins to regulate their breathing and in time presses play on their device.” Since I’ve never been one for rituals, and out of fear of burning down my apartment, I just plugged my laptop into speakers and turned them up past the roar of the AC. The result? Still good.
Three Songs is just that, and they follow the general format of their earlier work but break some new ground. “The Closing Door” is a melancholy track with heavy distortion and a slow, steady beat similar to songs on their last release, Hoodwink’d, but fades into and out of a slightly psychedelic jam during the bridge. “Blur” is a bright pop song reminiscent of tracks like “I Feel Ok,” but brings a new energy, particularly in the rhythm section, and a crisper, cleaner sound. “Proven Water Rites” is a mysterious end to the EP, containing most of the release’s angst: “Remember me, when I’m free I’ll be easy /Nothing underneath/ Breathing fire, breathing steam.”
Candles or no, Three Songs is a great listen from a band that has always had talent, but continues to evolve and polish their sound.
Check out the EP below, available to pre-order now from Run For Cover Records.