Crystal Stilts debut LP, Alight of Night, was released on Slumberland back in 2008. They followed it in 2011 with In Love with Oblivion. In between and since, they have released several singles and an EP, 2011’s stellar Radiant Door. But the band went silent after the release of Radiant Door, and we now know why. They will release their third proper LP, Nature Noir, next month.
Nature Noir is the band’s debut LP on Sacred Bones and it’s not the only noteworthy change the band has made in its release-dormant two years, as The Needle Drop points out:
Crystal Stilts’ recordings are typically layered, smudgy, and a little psychedelic. With a straightforward groove and some raw rock ‘n’ roll guitar leads, “Future Folklore” is one of the Stilts’ most intelligible songs yet.
This is something I picked up on as well. You do get a semblance of the change on Radiant Door (also on Sacred Bones); listen to “Still as the Night” next to 2009 single “Love is a Wave” and you’ll hear what I am talking about.
“Future Folklore”, to no surprise given its Sacred Bones home, finds Crystal Stilts departing even more from their super dark, post-punk roots and laying on a thick psychedelic rock sound. Radiant Door, then, was a progressive stepping stone both to a sound more refined and discernible and toward a more psych-influenced sound.
While clearer and slightly more refined, Brad Hargett’s vocals remain as deep and seemingly emotionless as ever. Featuring a driving piano (Kyle Forester), bass (Andy Adler) and percussion (Keegan Cooke) and a subtle pseudo-sloppy guitar riff (JB Townsend) during the vocal breaks — a trait that gives the song an interesting and most refreshing depth.
Crystal Stilts will release Nature Noir via Sacred Bones Records on September 17. Listen to “Future Folklore” from the album below.