This is some weird, wild stuff. Not in a bad way—no, quite the opposite. It's electronic! It's jazzy! It's full of lush vocal harmonies and a seemingly infinite number of layers! It's hard to nail down and easy to listen to. At the end of the day, Electric Rays is an exciting, eccentric foray into soft, bright, restless music where songs themselves are loosely bound by themes rather than traditional structure.
Myliobatoidei's sound is as vast it is nuanced. There's no one artist that bodes easy comparison, but there are a lot of little aspects that sound familiar. There's a lot of Radiohead influence present, especially in the bass lines, often in the progressions and occasionally in the percussion—but the music as a whole is way too bright for someone to say that it sounds like Radiohead.
There's a distinct ‘90s sort of jazz/R&B appeal bubbling under the surface—almost a piano driven ghost of Jamiroquai, dancing throughout the many layers. The omnipresent cascades of multi-layered vocal harmonies can sound quite a bit like those of mid-2000's of Kevin Barnes, but the staggered, start and stop pacing prevents Myliobatoidei from catapulting to the full the of Montreal level of intensity.
Electric Rays doesn't ever stay in one place for more than a measure or two. Unlike much electronic music, songs on the album don't rely on systematically building layers to create lush soundscapes—instead Myliobatoidei starts with a full sound and takes away layers just as often as adding them, so the songs tumble forward rather than inching upwards.
The constant movement is a double-edged sword. Did you really dig that last little movement or vocal hook? Don't expect a reprise anytime soon. On the other hand, though, you can really appreciate the root theme of the song—instead of hearing the same riff or part over and over again, you realize that all of the parts are simply offshoots from the base idea behind each song.
While the album is seemingly the collection of a million ideas, the capture of such can be pretty effective on a couple of the tracks. The song “Return” is somewhat bound together by a simmering bass line and the vocal range is the most expressive of the album, with ascending call and response parts. The track “Disposable” allows ringing piano to intermingle with multi-tracked vocals to paint a lush soundscape, before going off in pretty much all of the directions. It captures the unbridled energy of the album in a nutshell pretty well.
Electric Rays is the collected musical musings of Colorado artist Myliobatoidei (it's not a made up word, believe it or not, it's the scientific/Latin name for a stingray), and despite being all over the place makes for a pretty good—and quite interesting—album.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook