Beyond Playlist: A Lull
Chicago scene veterans Nigel Evan Dennis, Mike Brown and Todd Miller have pulled together their collective indie rock experience to produce a lush, intricate, headphone-ready indie pop record that surprises, delights and frustrates - all in just over 11 minutes. Realized with countless percussion instruments, horns, strings and old-fashioned rock instrumentation, the four tracks that make up the Ice Cream Bones EP flow like mercury - dense, viscous, beautiful and unpredictable. The record's lead single and opening track, "Skinny Fingers," is the easiest to hold on to - at least, at first. For the first few minutes, its simple melody, enigmatic refrain and gently plucked acoustic guitar are reminiscent of Mike Kinsella's work in Owen. Then it builds to a repetitive, layered and trumpet-lofted second movement that is disorienting in a pleasantly ethereal way. The entire weird, rollercoaster universe of the record is contained in the microcosm of that opening track.