“Atrophy,” the newest EP from Baton Rouge band The Nocturnal Broadcast, has a way of sounding both cheerful and gloomy at the same time.
The four-piece — vocalist-guitarist and main songwriter Connor LaCour, guitarist Drew Brunson, bassist Annie Carlson and drummer Taylor Stoma — released its debut full-length, "A Pendulum Ache," in March, and this new three-track offering came out at the end of October.
The band points to a wide array of influences on its sound, from alternative groups such as Manchester Orchestra to folk acts Pinegrove and Fleet Foxes. Here, “Atrophy” is defined by LaCour's and Brunson’s dueling guitars, which complement each other brilliantly. When one calls, the other answers, filling the air with jangly electric licks.
The guitars sound mostly bittersweet with just the right amount of fuzz, evoking contradictory feelings. One moment the melody sounds uplifting but on the next things feels foreboding, like on the record’s first track, “Silicon God.” The song opens with a breezy progression but quickly morphs into something more bleak.
The collection consists of only three songs, but every track offers plenty of substance. Each cut clocks in around five minutes, creating unique sonic journeys that deserve the listener’s full attention.
Lyrically, “Atrophy” outplays most indie projects. The Nocturnal Broadcast devotes as much effort to writing lyrics as it does musical composition, and the result is a wistful work bursting at the seams with intellectual verse.
The Nocturnal Broadcast has delivered the latest in what will likely become an impressive catalog of indie rock. “Atrophy” is just a refreshing taste of what is to come.
"Atrophy" by The Nocturnal Broadcast can be found at thenocturnalbroadcast.bandcamp.com.