Locus Sound is Nathaniel Berry (vocals/guitar), Matt Pizer (bass), Gary Spector (guitar), Falon Lewis (drums), Sydney Finfer (vocals) and Isabella Bruno (vocals). The young band that all look like they are probably still in high school have some talent that is beyond their years.
Their recent release Cartographer showcases a band with technical prowess and creative intuition. I was impressed time and time again with the varied songwriting and the level at which they were able to deliver.
Throughout Cartographer there are a lot of existential and philosophical undertones. I’ll say the younger (age-wise) a band is the harder it is for them to get away with acting as if they are a band that has answers or even thoughts about deep existential questions. There were a couple of times when the singers seemed a little bit too serious for their own good in their delivery but for the most part they eloquently bypass it. This is mainly in part to the overall vibe of some of the songs and the lyrics, which tend to be creative and poetic rather than relying on tropes.
The band starts with “Ephemera” which has some great moments and others that feel a bit out of place. It starts off very strong and the band finds their best moment at just under a minute in where they sound comparable to Menomena. The chorus has a very dramatic Evanescence tone that didn’t work as well. Additionally the female vocals were exceptional on this song.
“Repeat Offender” starts off with a hypnotic groove that is quite infectious. Berry’s vocals do feel a bit over-dramatic during the verse. I preferred his brighter inflection during the chorus. The song has a number of impressive changes and transitions.
“Always Am” is one Berry’s most inspired vocal performances. He is more confident, more dynamic and the levity in his voice sounds good on him. “Always Am” is a good song from beginning to end. Another highlight is “Soft Shadow” which contains good vocal performances while “House of Glass” was an interesting deviation that might have fared better without the samples.
The title track contains some great drumming and vocal harmonies. I loved the off-kilter timing. The vibrant, upbeat track “I've Seen Ghosts” is arguably the highlight on the album. They tap into an energy that felt similar to Arcade Fire.
Cartographer isn’t a fully realized album but displays a boatload of potential for this young band. The band has great chemistry and I thought the dynamic between the vocalists worked while the music itself was often original and unique. If the band stays grounded and continues to improve I could see their sound landing somewhere between The Dirty Projectors and Menomena.
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