With its three tracks spanning a mighty 34 minutes, Tonstartssbandht’s debut album is far from easy listening. Seasoned psych nerds may already recognise Andy White as Mac DeMarco’s touring guitarist, and fittingly, the latter’s signature elements are present and correct: uncluttered crystalline guitar chords are left to breathe easily amidst enticingly deft melodies. Whereas DeMarco uses these components as a framework for sleepy-eyed pop, however, Sorceror presents something more complex.
Each track offers much more than catchy tunes and hummable refrains (although they can certainly be found here too, particularly on the wicked title track) – songs expand and contract, accelerating and building around head-nodding motifs which, once established, melt and shift into something new. On drums, White’s brother Edwin puts in a star performance, spinning rhythms within rhythms that explode and implode with barely a second’s notice. That they weave such magic while conjuring images of a strung-out Ty Segall one second, and a sleepwalking Comets on Fire the next, only adds to their charm.
Sorcerer may not offer much in the way of straight-up pop thrills, and undoubtedly requires patience to truly appreciate its merits – don’t expect to hear the 13-minute Opening dominating the airwaves any time soon. But whether avidly absorbing its every nuance or simply letting the whole thing wash over you, it’s an impressive statement of intent.
Listen to: Sorcerer, Breathe