It doesn’t require vocals for music to speak volumes. If you’ve ever seen Máscaras live, …
Candace, the trio formally known as Is/Is, have taken the energy of a new identity and channeled it into the confident and cohesive New Future. Apropos of the new name, New Future seems to chart a path forward that places the group’s sound into a gray area of genre melds. The instrumentals coexist in a space that is both aggressive and controlled, matching the fuzzy alt-rock sounds with the syrupy vocals. There are alternating moments of claustrophobic intensity, like opener “Wasted View,” juxtaposed with tracks like “Mirror Bird” and “Disappearing” that take advantage of the expanse when the vocals are pulled back a bit and the instrumentals toned down.
Although the record runs a brisk 35 minutes, tracks seem to unwind at a surprisingly leisurely pace, suggesting both a calm control and a firm grip on the sonic ethos that pervades the album. The bass and guitar work are perpetually solid, and the drums are understated, allowing other rhythmic elements to push the songs forward. This balance is a nice change of pace from the insistence that percussion be loud, at the forefront, and the sole driver of musical pace. That Candace not only understands this dynamic, but uses it to extreme effectiveness, speaks volumes about the ongoing and future development of the group’s musical explorations.
There’s an inherent maturity to the approach Candace has taken on New Future, both from a songwriting and structural perspective, and the stellar results are a testament to the focus the group has given the latest project. »
– Charles Trowbridge
EDITOR’S NOTE: This album was selected as one of our 11 favorite Portland albums of 2016. Jump to the other year-end selections below.