It’s always a little harder to write about an EP or album made up of songs that connect with your inner psyche in a totally immersive way. Sticky Stars is the sort of album I’d turn to for a long drive or an evening alone, reflecting on life and the world. Nevertheless, I’ll separate escapism from the process for a moment.
Kidd Bayou are a wonderful band, their songwriting is superb – interesting, unusual, poetic, beautiful. Their performances too bring together the purity of delicate melodic whispers and the intensity of distorted weight and rhythm, in equal parts. Gold is the opener and steps back and forth between these two extremes, surrounding you with provocative ideas and heartfelt, thoughtful concepts.
Elsewhere on the album, the songs continue to weave these atmospheric moments around you in a totally blissful way. The title track is hauntingly delicate and reaches out for something new and exciting, outside of the every day world – a strong testament to the feelings consistently gifted to you by the entire album. Songs like Meters draw your focus to the musicianship, the considerate crafting of soundscapes that gives the band musical depth in addition to lyrical. This one builds and satisfies in a similar way to the opener, these cascading instrumental waterfalls work wonders in between verses.
Freelance takes things down a joyful and uplifting pathway, the guitar work and the interconnection of everything within creates a mighty moment of possibility. This Fire follows and teeters somewhere between hopefulness and anticipation. There’s a joyfulness still and the melody and the lyrics really paint something striking among this. About The Boat toys with the very presence of audio in the listeners world, later offering a somewhat epic, alternative rock ballad of sorts, or an indie-rock anthem, which again gets you thinking quite deeply.
Kidd Bayou offer plenty of insight on this project, the songs welcome you in an accessible, personal way, but they also lay bare some truths from the artists involved, so you start to really connect. Fair Game is a song that presents this quite precisely, a personal declaration that feels as if it could have been written purely for you. The progression of the melody is stunning and the acoustic backdrop really lets it stand tall. Social Circles follows and brings back the entrancing rhythm and the characterful riffs, laying out the perfect ambiance within which the unfolding ideas can thrive.
Towards the end of the project, All Lined Up takes the form of a softly optimistic indie-pop track, and Red Lipped Cigarette contrasts that entirely by offering up a totally raw acoustic performance. The poetic imagery shines brightly once again in this setting, and the song evolves to be something quite almighty and intense – really bringing home the underlying energy of the moment. Then things come to a close with Where We Stand, a song that feels like a modern day classic, a manic yet simultaneously peaceful song that lingers in your mind for quite some time.
You don’t come across complete albums that are quite so pretty and haunting and unexpected as this, the last couple of times were when Half Moon Run first emerged, and MGMT before this. The way the band arrange each track is an experience in itself, a journey through artistic expression. The contrast between the softness and the weight really makes it all hit with memorable impact – forever enhancing that powerful element of escapism.