Unlocked: Download Pattern is Movement’s expansive epic “Suckling”

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Photos by Peter English
Photos by Peter English

2008’s All Together saw the Philly band Pattern is Movement expanding its sonic palette, eschewing the typical definitions of “math rock” for a sound with more orchestral flourishes. It seems that as the band has refined and solidified its artistic base, honing an interlocking core between singer / keyboardist / multi-instrumentalist Andrew Thiboldeaux and drummer / producer Christopher Ward. It actually broadened their sound to include elements of cabaret, RnB, and hip-hop. The resultant sound was something that exposed the duo for what they really are – multi-form masters, destined to make music that redefines genre boundaries that were way too small to begin with. Math rock is too tight of a pigeonhole for ambitions as big as theirs.

With this week’s release of their latest full-length, Pattern is Movement, the band weaves a new tapestry of RnB-heavy music with agility and conviction of purpose. In what can be seen as a logical progression of non-rock elements in indie music, the band construct layered vocal harmonies and lush instrumental textures over broken, J Dilla-inspired drum beats throughout songs that explore the fragility of a beautiful world. Despite the six-year break between full-lengths (characterized by false starts and one-off releases and shows / special events teasing the album), the band sound fresher than ever as they throw off the angularity of past releases for something wholly different.

Pattern is Movement is the focus of this week’s Unlocked, The Key’s regular series highlighting new and significantreleases from local artists. This includes a record review for tomorrow, with a video and interview later in the week; all of this coincides with the Thursday album release show at Boot and Saddle.

“Suckling”, a track as part of a 12’’ single in October, most clearly indicates the direction of the new album. Starting off as sultry, low-key crooner with percussive snaps and pulsing bass, Ward’s bombastic drums jump in to usher forth an expansive epic with tinny horns and syrupy vocals. If “Suckling” has you hooked, you can stream the full album (for as long as it lasts) via the A.V. Club here. Be sure to check back for more on Pattern is Movement on Unlocked.

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