The Concretes – Forces (single)

5 out of 5

Produced by: ?

Label: Licking Fingers

For those of us who were disappointed that boyoubetterunow seemed to drop a promising band into obsolescence – not actually the case, but lack of a label and an impossible to find EP made it appear as such – the sudden appearance of this two song single was absolutely a boon.  Showing off a more patient, mature song construction, it suggested that the group’s penchant for crisp and poppy song construction could be evolved, and did not have to center around Victoria Bergsman’s cutely accented delivery.

Opener Forces shimmers into its guitar strum, rolling beat pop but then fully expands on the debut’s template with harmonica, a lullaby horn, and layered vocals.  It’s everything good about what came before with extra depth and beauty.

Second track Among the Branches questionably hangs on Bergsman’s loose lyrical metaphor and a minimalist guitar plucking, until it lets the atmosphere slowly rope in feedback, and keys, building to a resonant conclusion.  It’s a great example of lulling a listener down a particular path and then pushing them further along with evocative song construction.

Alas, we only had the two tracks.  And I can’t say I was as happy with the bright and shiny Concretes that would later emerge.  But this still remains a gorgeous, isolated highlight.