Hinging somewhere between indie rock and sparse electronica, My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes is the brainchild of Circa Survive guitarist Colin Frangicetto. And while the marks of his work with Anthony Green and company are certainly sprinkled about the lush landscapes created here, Frangicetto finds an identity all his own that produces beautifully constructed, yet simple landscapes for him to flex his songwriting muscle. Where many might expect something different, Psychic Babble finds a comfortable corner of the sonic landscape to both create and excel in often unexpected ways.
Much slower than your average Circa track and in many cases less busy, Frangicetto’s output on My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes is something that might not sink in immediately. “Five Fold Kiss (Don’t Sleep)” sprinkles lush melodic lines among the slightly droning yet very catchy vocals and beat combination that sets up what we are to hear over the ten tracks here. Frangicetto’s voice, while not soaring or huge in terms of range, is warm and embracing to the timbre of the track, making it a perfect compliment for the crunchy drums and smooth melodies. “Nothing Familiar” is in a similar vein, though arguably not as successful until the chorus hits with driving drums and sparse, yet perfectly placed melodies. In terms of songwriting though, Psychic Babble does its best when the tempo is turned up just a touch. “Radio Songs” has a slight Circa feel with its whirling melodic lines and toe-tapping tempo that serve as a sturdy background for the vocal dabbling heard throughout this track, while “Boulevard” features some catchy guitar work that lays the foundation for a rather ‘80s sounding track.
That isn’t to say the slower stuff isn’t any good. “Samantha” brings a folksy feel to the proceedings, combining twangy guitars and echoey vocals against sparse drumming to make for a storytelling experience that steps away from the musical feel of the record. Other tracks have their moments, such as the smooth choruses of “Let Me Change” – a track that channels spaced out surf rock in its vocal approach. Still, the experience in itself can work at either tempo, but it will take a couple listens to truly let these tracks sink in and plant themselves in your brain.
Vocally, this record lends itself to some very emotionally-rooted lyricism that often gets lost in the production at first listen. The slightly stretched out sound of the vocals during most of this record makes it difficult to truly get a grasp on everything at first, even though it really fits the music in most cases. Still, there are some thoughtfully penned words to be heard here, it would just be nicer in some spots (“Follow Your Bliss”) to not feel like it's all getting blurred together.
While this record might not be for those looking for fast-tempo jams, Psychic Babble gives us something worth relaxing to in My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes. Whether you’re a Circa fan or not, it is worth your time to give Psychic Babble a spin if you’re in the mood for something a little less energetic.
2. Nothing Familiar
4. Radio Songs
5. You Said It
6. Crocodile Tears
8. Let Me Change
9. Follow Your Bliss
Psychic Babble is the solo project of Circa Survive guitarist Colin Frangicetto. His first album, My Brother’s Ears/My Sister’s Eyes, was released on August 16th, 2011.... read more