Track Premiere: Turtlenecked—’Lies’

Posted: by The Editor

NYC-by-Portland singer/songwriter Harrison Smith (aka Turtlenecked) is in the midst of one of the most amazing artistic glow-ups in recent memory. Looking at where he was two years ago on the scrappy yet ear-catching Pure Plush Bone Cage, or even considering the sort of fuzz-pop he was bashing through on last year’s Vulture LP, the Turtlenecked of 2018 is a version who’s fully-realized himself multiple times over. Earlier this year, Smith dropped a mini-album called High Scores of the Heart that solidified his transition from ragged power-pop to shimmering avante-pop. There were still guitar songs, but the project was a clear move toward synth-based material that often vibed more than it rocked.

Springtime In Hell (out 12/7) is the six-song follow-up to High Scores that almost feels like its companion. High Scores was full of taut, sub-three-minute cuts where the artistically ADD Smith tried his best to hone in on consistent song structures. It worked, and so Springtime plays like his knee-jerk reaction to run amok and stuff half-a-dozen full songs ideas into one.

“Lies,” the EP’s intro track that we’re premiering below, is a piece of psychotic noise-pop that contains what’s easily the best Turtlenecked hook to date. There’s an anxiety-inducing bassline thumping in tandem with a twisting acoustic guitar lick. There’re flashes of disorienting, overdriven guitar strokes. The pre-chorus has several vocal tracks of Smith’s loony cackling and cawing, intertwined with delirious synth effects. Altogether, it sounds like a hellish carnival spawned from the most maniacal moments on The Black Parade crossed with, like, Xiu Xiu. It’s weird as hell and then this pulsating refrain bursts through the mix. A chorus that’s candy coated licorice in aural form. Just this shitfaced grin-of-a-melody that knows exactly how great it is, flinging over whirring, siren-like effects and a throbbing rhythm. And then it’s gone, requiring you to immediately play it all back again.

For the love of all that is unholy, stream it below:

Springtime In Hell is out 12/7 via Good Cheer Records.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis

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