Pertaining to a pretty mathematical precision and subtracted from the Ann Arbor, Michigan duo’s début extended-play Pseudoscience, Hollow & Akimbo’s Still Life is a vivid statement of intent the like of which they’ve otherwise yet to contrive. Akin to Spanish Sahara initially treated with Antidotes and later prescribed a thrice-daily dosage of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, were its opening minutes to set a precedent for mainstream pop musics for these next few years, few would likely begrudge the shift in tone.
For Still Life begins an affected picture of total refinement, vapid drums underlying meaty synthetic beats, sinewy keys, burly guitars and an irreproachable falsetto. “I was petrified, you were frozen/ And both our bodies turned to stone” it goes, the tone lowered a touch as the schizoid twitch of a maniacal electric takes hold. Terse, staccato and far from still, notes topple over one another, accelerating dangerously all the while, before a brief pause forebodes an unprecedentedly proggish onslaught redolent of Chaz Bundick foregoing the medication in favour of an unadulterated joie de vivre. Wholly unanticipated, if in no way unwelcome, it would appear there’s plenty of invention to Hollow & Akimbo, and one you’d be unwise to eschew any longer.