I’m a bit amazed by this, really, but it’s been about a good month since I last reviewed an album. In the time that has transpired between my review of Tiny Magnets’ debut EP and now, I’ve been hellishly busy with show reviewin’, some artist interviews, site maintenance and, well, my frenzied and spontaneous life.
I admit all this here because I feel rusty, damn it! Well that, or I’m just failing to recognize a genuine struggle in how best to talk about The Window Theatre‘s new EP, Away.
We’ll begin things with the lead track, “Right, Left,” since I catch myself returning to it more than any other. If my track count is an indication — I’ve played it (at least) two times over every Away song, respectively — it’s far and away my favorite.
Like many Window Theatre tunes, it begins pretty nonchalantly. So unassumingly. Like: “Oh, you ready to roll? OK, cool. And… let’s go then.” It builds so organically, with multiple pieces coming together, naturally, at opportune times. Like a quality, patchwork quilt. For that, I give the boys credit for their organization. Such careful, careful arrangement is at work here.
And one thing they do super well on “Right, Left,” too, is in slightly increasing its tempo about two-thirds of the way in before returning to the norm near song’s end. It’s a neat respite. (Though very much the opposite of a break). That small 30-second interlude, actually, is probably one of my favorite parts on the whole EP.
The Window Theatre similarly hooked me on a tune like “Away” — of course, the EP’s title track. Before crescendoing (it’s a word) into slow jam, “Away” is about as gentle as a pug puppy rubbing its head against your arm. It’s so simplified in its, well, simplicity — light guitar strums, piano, perhaps flutters of a triangle (or xylophone?) — and then wham, drums and cymbals kick in and we’re in business.
I bet “Away” sounds just peachy live, especially if the boys improv it some and jam out longer than its runtime on the EP. I love little more than for tunes to extend from four minutes to eight (or a relational figure), and I can totally see that happening on a live, end-of-the-night performance of “Away.”
Elsewise, I get a little unnerved by bits of the EP. My problems hinder on the fact that it, at times, gets pretty emo. And I feel the same about emo as I do country. I think it was all the “Screaming Infidelities” and other like odes my sister force-fed me ages ago. As well, The Window Theatre gets too literal with its words sometimes. Songwriting, I imagine, is demanding, and The Window Theatre is mostly skillful with it. Mostly.
Yet my impression, overall, of Away is a favorable one. It’s got loaded sound, really, when you realize it all comes from two guys. Kinda like when I learned The Ting Tings were just one dude, one chick.
Anyway, The Window Theatre celebrates its new EP with a release show at Subterranean this weekend. Ticket info below!
- The Window Theatre, based in Chicago, is comprised of twin brothers Joseph and Erik Duemig.
- Their new EP, Away, will be released on Tuesday. Prior to that, check ’em out at their record release show at Subterranean. Tickets are $10. Doors at 10 p.m.
Here’s The Window Theatre and co. putting a creative spin on gig advertising