Finding tranquility in complexity
It is no secret that math rock is a rich genre full of experimentation. Syncopation, complex rhythms and dissonance all combine into textured tracks. Beyond the dense layers of instrumentals, the math rock is a tribute to the intricacies of not just music but music in general. Floatie’s debut LP, Voyage Out, takes what is known of the genre and expands it into a unique sound of their own. Even within the complicated song structures, there is a sense of peace within it. It does not overpower but guides the listener through songs with tranquil vocals.
The opening track, “Shiny,” is explosive in its numerous key changes and large instrumentals. The lyrical elements are within the track itself, complementing the vocalist beautifully. Even in dizzying structure, Floatie is focused on not losing themselves in it. The track shines as an example that math rock can be incredibly beautiful, and, similar to the likes of Yvette Young from famed math rock band Covet, the band utilizes more stripped-down, acoustic vocals.
There is a true beauty found in music such as “In the Night,” which opens with heavy percussion. Contrary to the early tracks on the album, it focuses more on percussion to punctuate its vocalists. The chemistry of all the instrumentalists is clear within the song: Floatie seems to understand their own playing styles so well that they play off one another in a way that is undeniably tranquil to listen to. Even in dissonant chords, it seems that everything belongs together. Stripping their guitar work for the lyrical bridge, the lyrics intertwine with the vocalist so well that it seems as if they are all part of one greater body, making the album incredibly engaging.
“Lookfar” is an intense closing track that shows the dense layers in place throughout the album. The dissonance comes to the fore, punctuating the instrumentals in blown-out bass. The ability for it to stay afloat beyond its percussion is a feat in itself as backing vocals seamlessly integrate into the primary vocalist’s. Large instrumental breaks are also a key component of the song, longer than any others on the album.
If there was any song to introduce oneself to the band, “Lookfar” is quintessential to their sound. It is a soaring testament to the band’s talent, but every song, especially the titular track “Voyage Out,” has an appreciation for the genre. There is no doubt the intense instrumentals are a reflection of the talent of every band member. It is a powerful, loving tribute to the art of music itself. Even in the slow instrumental breaks of the song, everything is done with intention. The peaceful sound does not sacrifice any of the musicality that is present in the more visibly textured tracks, for Voyage Out is an ode to composition and style, never compromising their own distinct sound through the record. Floatie knows the complications of music inside and out in every pen stroke—making the record an incredible joy to all.