Ravenswood

Class M Planets

Treefort Lounge Records, 2020

http://www.classmplanets.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/14/2020

An outfit spearheaded by Chicago native and singer/guitarist Adam Goldman, as Class M Planets, the poetic songwriter explores hazy, surreal pop textures alongside a psycho-tropic landscape where a small army of musicians bring synth, flutes, saxophone, tambourine, and plenty of other noisemakers to the psychedelic affair. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Awkward” starts the listen and is anything but as soft vocals and a gentle acoustic guitar work well together in the folk influenced setting. Things then take a sharp turn with the louder “Invasive Species,” where drums and a woodwind help fuel the chamber pop fun that even flirts with jazz, too.

The elegant climate only gets more varied and unclassifiable from here, including the raw and cello friendly anti-folk of “Easy” as well as the prog rock nods of the unusually metered “Skyward.” “Molasses” then moves softer but certainly atypically in its multifaceted indie rock approach that at some moments might remind you of the best work of Bright Eyes or The Decemberists.

Later in the listen, “Arson” recruits backing female vocals and builds into some version of baroque pop exploration, and “Ok” finishes things off with a breathy quality not unlike Elliott Smith, where freak-folk tendencies and much delicacy exits the listen with as much intrigue as it started.

Now residing in Portland, Oregon, Class M Planets is an offshoot of thebrotheregg, who released many records starting in the early 2000s as a four piece. They are now a much bigger ensemble. Ravenswood is actually loosely based around a Chicago neighborhood of the same name where Goldman grew up. The experimental, artistic, and unique vision of melody brings to mind artists as wide as The Beach Boys, Robyn Hitchcock, and Echo And The Bunnymen, while still sounding completely like their own entity.

A fascinating and often gripping record, these 14 tunes end entirely too soon, but hey, one can get just as lost in the amazing cover art, too.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2020 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Treefort Lounge Records, and is used for informational purposes only.