Body of Friends, Body of Water (the group’s third EP in just over a year) is a magical listening experience and contains some of the finest, most mesmerizing Indie Pop you’ll hear this year, local or otherwise. Enlou’s imaginative sound is sparkling and watery, a streaming flow of twinkling textures, unique song structures, crafty harmonies, creative rhythms and instantly memorable melodies. The songs’ entrancing dynamics alternately gush and trickle, collectively making the album a magnetic, singular piece of work.
Lead track “Amphibian” sets the tone, as the guitars swim between the band’s trademark chime and Surf-guitar-ish riffs awash in reverb. Singer/bassist Ben Rush has a fantastic singing voice, one that seethes an endearing familiarity, even if you can’t exactly pinpoint whose vocals they remind you of (James Mercer of The Shins is as close as I can get). That holds true for the band as a whole, with the inherent familiarity seeming to stem from the mesh of influences being ingeniously turned inside out and personalized.
Robby Ritter’s drumming deserves particular notice as he simultaneously provides atmosphere and backbeat and plays with a musicality that makes the drums as vital to the songs as the guitars, keys or any other instrument.
Like the rest of the members, Ritter doesn’t just “play” the songs — he mind-melds with the compositions and inhabits them, decorating the corners with an artisan’s hand.
Enlou creates its own little sonic world on Body of Friends, Body of Water with a sound that is oddly atmospheric, endlessly artful and infinitely addictive. And it’s a fun and inviting world to get lost in. While perhaps not “psychedelic” in the traditional sense, Enlou’s music is hypnotic enough to make you wonder if someone might have spiked your drink while you were listening.
If Body gets into the right hands and ears, it could easily catapult Enlou to a much higher national profile. With such a captivating release coming so early in the band’s career, it’ll be exciting to see where they go next as artists. (www.myspace.com/enlouwasaman)
More Local Notes
• Singers/songwriters Mark Messerly (also of Wussy) and Brian Ewing are currently finishing up the next Messerly and Ewing album, the duo’s first with the rhythm section of Sean Rhiney and Bill Donabedian (veteran local musicians and the co-founders of the MidPoint Music Festival). In the meantime, you can catch the rootsy, rockin’ quartet live this Sunday when the band plays the Taft Museum’s “Taft Sessions,” which returned this summer after a year off, with opener the Billy Catfish Orchestra. The Sessions are free and begin at 2 p.m. in the Taft’s garden. (www.taftmuseum.org; www.messerlyandewing.com)
• It’s a “reunited Cincy Garage Rock bands” kind of night at The Comet in Northside this Saturday. Long-running rockers The Pariahs hit the stage again for their annual show to celebrate singer Kevin Donahue’s birthday. Also on the bill is another band that knows something about “getting the band back together” — The Long Gones reformed in 2008, a decade after they broke up, to open for veteran local Garage band The Customs (The Long Gones name was a tribute to The Customs’ biggest song), who were reuniting for a one-off performance. (Unlike The Customs, The LGs have been a working band ever since.) (www.myspace.com/thelonggones)
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