I love the spacey guitars and mellow, harmony vocals on The Instruments’ “Sounds Electric”. But, even moreso, I love the consistent, repetitive percussion; it is the percussion that, in my opinion, makes this a great song.
There’s plenty of skill here. The Instruments include names like Heather McIntosh, whose E6 background in groups like Elf Power and Japancakes can be heard throughout The Instruments’ third release, Dark Småland, out now on Orange Twin Records.
In fact, McIntosh recruits a few of her old label cohorts—most notably, Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel—for inclusion on the album. Despite the hefty emphasis on E6, not enough can be said of drummer Eric Harris’ percussion skills or guitarist Derek Almstead’s engineering abilities (he runs Pixel Studios).
The Instruments’ style of pop is very melodic and soothing. It’s beautifully crafted folk-pop for fans of Eno and Elephant 6, though “First Signs” has Stereolab written all over it.