There's no perfect way to describe Water From Your Eyes, the New York duo composed of Nate Amos (he/him) and Rachel Brown (they/them). Both known independently for their solo work under the names This Is Lorelei and Thanks For Coming respectively, the pair have been together since 2016, and in that time they have developed a clear-eyed approach to forward-thinking dance music that combines austerity and satire, abrasion and charm in a package that is consistently innovative and unlike anything being made by their contemporaries in the Brooklyn DIY scene or outside of it.
After a series of smaller releases the band made their mark in 2019 with the release of Somebody Else's Song, which earned praise from outlets like Stereogum, FLOOD, GoldFlakePaint and Pitchfork who declared that "wading through Water From Your Eyes' whims is a delight in itself, and discovering the unexpected loveliness buried within is especially worthwhile." Now they have signed to the beloved Brooklyn indie Wharf Cat Records (Palberta, Gong Gong Gong, Dougie Poole) for their latest LP Structure, and constitutes the most startling release in their catalogue to date. Delighting in contradiction, Structure is an ambitious LP that approaches its own impressive scope and aspiration with a tongue-in-cheek humor and a reflexive self-effacement that wonderfully reflects the personalities of its creators.
Influenced by Scott Walker's sole 80s release, Climate of Hunter and the works of the colorfield painter Mark Rothko, it's a concept album that pokes fun of the idea of concept albums, exploring high-minded ideas while subverting them and applying a hyper-focused eye for detail in the service of a series of clever misdirections. When taken together Structure paints a picture too vast to be taken in at once, but repeated listens reveal melodic subtleties, rhythmic minutiae, and lyrical repetition that allow the whole to come into focus.
Whether the lasting impression is concrete or abstract will depend on the listener's perspective, but from any vantage point Structure is a thrillingly original release and a first-class achievement in brutalist pop.
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