Heads or tails, man
Welcome to the whimsical world of Hyacinth, brought to you by Spinning Coin. Their second LP testifies that the quartet of guys and gal is an eminent light in the indie-pop matrix. Everything bright and blithe can be found here and, tracking in with a whopping 13 songs running 42 minutes of what seems like sour candy and flowers translated to sound, it coruscates. Come, seekers of airy free-wheeling vibrations and breezy, long-haired vagabonds, the neon sign illuminates for you.
Off the bat, it just radiates some good ol’ reverb-soaked guitar that is so intrinsic and signature to the indie sound – you instantly get that feeling. Each track follows a basic formula and is somewhat conventional with short intros, repetitive (yet, rewarding) guitar riffs and weird space transmission interludes with far-away dial tone signals attempting to tune.
They also make use of these wide, expansive barre chords that seem to shake your core and incite blood flow to the cerebral cortex. And, to keep it fresh, they sometimes even distort the chords, adding a nice contrasting element to the otherwise sunny sound. Yet, the blue-thumb idiosyncrasy of the group is the vocalist’s deadpan-gone-slightly-sonorous voice like he just got through his first lesson. It’s cheeky.
Lyrically, the thing adheres to this screw-everything motif. Disillusioned teens and too-tight-neck-tiers, this one is for you. “I’ve got nothing to prove” (“The Long Heights”) proves this, as so do lyrics like “what’s the reason for your reasoning?” (“Get High”) and, by Jove, it gets pretty artless in “It’s Alright” with “when they tell you it’s all meaningless that’s no lie.” But, rather than getting all blue, the inner escapist unveils before the audience as a weapon against bleak reality devoid of meaning, and it’s really something to get into – losing one’s worries with Spinning Coin instills this sense of communal overcoming. “When I recognize [sic] that my dream life is my real one” (on “The Long Heights”) says Mr. Vocalist, it’s time for him to “get high.”
Even some smart-ass sardonicism bleeds through (on the penultimate track), “if you look into your mind you should see a skull” that dovetails into the nihilistic “they’re all just as meaningless as your skull.” Fat gold star for that, but otherwise the lyrics are all over the place, and a little bit of a head spin, just like the music, but it’s all very becoming.
All in all, this record is like summer bubble-gum indie-pop that was released in the winter (which may or may not be another ironic jab). From the self-derisive vibrato to the sparse synth space noises, to the cyclic barre chord progressions to the lyrics of enlightenment, Spinning Coin individualizes themselves as not just another band, but a way of being. They are inflexible and without limits, some proper iconoclasts naïve of how they ought to be. Blending just the right amount of jest with dejection, this piece offers an antidote to the futility of life, leaving you with a proper hyacinth high. So, turn on, tune in, and drop out suckers.