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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Dancing the night away with Geographer’s Myth

    Dancing the night away with Geographer’s Myth

    Dance floors of the ‘80s were characterized by moody and relatable acts like New Order, Joy Division and Electronic.

    Today we have Ke-dollar sign-ha, Drake and He Who Must Not Be Named — Chris Brown.

    Give Geographer’s Myth a listen-through, and you’ll realize that we’ve lost something really important in the past 30-odd years. This succinct collection of 10 tracks is arguably the material that should be dominating our playlists and our clubs.

    Formed in 2008 by vocalist Michael Deni, cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, this San Francisco three-piece seems poised to revive a bygone era of introspective hip-shaking with its latest offering, Myth, and its space-inspired musings.

    Deni’s ability to layer seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive and easily digestible mix is immediately apparent on Myth. Unlike other acts that attempt to break out of the box and then ostracize the curious at first listen, like early Animal Collective, there’s a humble approachability to Geographer. Deni’s distinguishable vocals, impressive range and the poppy musical nature of the album help lessen the typically hard indie edge that surrounds most bands in this vein.

    Geographer’s diverse and variable sound helps explain how it’s toured with such a wide range of bands, from Foster The People to Toro y Moi. Blaz’s cello immediately recalls Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s arrangements while drummer Ostreicher’s defined playing holds similar weight to El Ten Eleven’s sound. However, it’s Deni’s songwriting that should reign center stage, as he’s grown by leaps and bounds since his humble beginnings on 2008’s Innocent Ghosts.

    Much like the difference between 18 and 22, Geographer has polished its initially naive notion of tragedy into a mature and dance-driven effort.

    From the spacey opening chords of “Life of Crime” to the fading pleas of “Kites,” it’s evident that production quality has advanced significantly since Innocent Ghosts. This sonic advancement helps the album to breathe, opening up deep melodies and hard-hitting hooks throughout. Nathan Blaz’s string work haunts the album in unexpected places, from the massive introduction for “The Myth Of Youth” to the sparse arrangement that opens “Blinders.” Synthesizers make up the majority of Geographer’s sound, but do so in ways that complement the band’s primary elements rather than overpower subtle nuances.

    It’s safe to say that Deni and Blaz’s multi-instrumental abilities help push Geographer far beyond the traditional realm of the power trio, as the album’s twists and turns keep listeners on their toes as they dance along. It’s rare that a fresh take on a traditional band form translates into such an infectious product. It’s hopeful that Geographer fills the role of a modern New Order, and with Myth, it’s sure as hell on its way.

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