If this is how it feels to be haunted, I am now accepting ghostly applicants. Electronic indie pop band Sir Sly debuted their latest album on Tuesday, entitled You Haunt Me. The new release sounds like a sedated mashup of MGMT and The Postal Service, brimming with mellow vocals and smooth, syncopated beats.
The production quality of this album is impeccable. Every tiny detail falls right into place, and it’s all pieced together without sounding fussy or over-produced. Landon Jacobs’ cool vocals lounge against the music like the Fonz leaning against a Jukebox, while instrumentalists Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplin knit together electronic rhythms that snap, crackle and pop handsomely beneath his voice.
The opening song, “Where I’m Going,” lures you into their world, and the words “That’s what I want” pour warmly into the chorus like coffee in a cup. “Ghost” is another one that stays on the brain. The melody somehow sounds both soothing and supernatural, and actually reminds me of the “La La Lara” background music from American Horror Story: Coven. In my favorite track, “Floods,” Jacobs sounds so innocent and melancholy as he croons “Now you’re gone” that I just want to give the whole band a hug. It’s so emotive you can feel it in your bones.
The most popular track is “Gold,” which was released on the 2013 EP of the same title and received a good dose of praise. “Gold” is somber and memorable, with half time piano progressions twinkling almost like a xylophone beneath the layers of chill. My only grumble about this song is the same criticism I have for the whole album: the lyrics. You Haunt Me is so insistent on rhyming that it starts to sound like a nervous poetry reading. Their message is always interesting, but the lyrics are often formulaic to the point of distraction. In “Gold,” the slant-rhymed lines in the chorus, “Mouth is made of metal, pocket full of yellow” and “Darling never settle, chasing down the devil,” sound more than a little forced.
They are talented enough that they don’t need to rely on limerick-y maneuvers, so I hope they will let things flow a little more naturally in the future. But all in all, I think Sir Sly has something really good going here. You Haunt Me is triumphant in its tranquility, and makes electronic indie pop more velvety and ethereal than I could have ever imagined.