The Infinite You

Lion Sphere

Independent release, 2016

http://www.lionspheremusic.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/24/2017

There are certain types of venues that are not suitable for live performances of certain types of music. For instance, punk music isn’t best experienced live at a concert hall, but at a cavernous “sardine can” of a venue, where bodily stench and spit are as integral to the experience as the music itself. Similarly, it is hard to picture Lion Sphere playing anywhere else but at a concert hall in a winery, with the show titled “an evening with Lion Sphere,” because nothing says “cozy” more than this Berlin-based outfit’s music.

Lion Sphere’s debut EP is the kind of music that makes for a perfect show when you are out on a date –sophisticated and serene music that will compliment your impeccable attire and the glass of wine that you are holding. Just listen to the chilled-out acoustic instrumental “At The Lakeside” and this visual will make total sense.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Yes, Lion Sphere’s music is “cautious.” The band churns out soulful indie pop music, consisting of comforting vocals, soft guitars, and swooning keys that play the sweetest harmonies.

Now, it is safe to casually toss around this sort of description for just about any indie band these days. However, Lion Sphere is a different sort of indie band. Their music is soaring, but it is restrained – even right down to the drums, which are played with finesse. Similarly, frontman Joel Montagud’s smoky vocals are passionate but he also sings with a beautiful elegance that not too many of today’s indie singers can brag about. On the whole, Lion Sphere performs with the poise and virtuosity of a jazz act on this EP.

As a matter of fact, the dreamy and soulful music on The Infinite You is full of jazzy undertones. A couple of the more obvious manifestations of this are the short jazzy synth segues following the chorus on single “Sisters” and the Steely Dan-like full-on jazz-rock synth section on “Silk Mountain.”

On the whole, this release is pretty catchy. This is purely because of great songwriting and great musicianship – just the simple stuff, and nothing else. Lion Sphere makes it very clear on this EP that they are all about serious musicianship. The band’s artistry and what they are capable of is evident on “Rest Of Me,” “Caravan,” and the title track, which aren’t really outwardly catchy, but are still so beautiful and alluring.

Indie music is awash with mediocre and predictable acts that nevertheless make pretty decent music that is melodious and catchy. But Lion Sphere is unique, a band that can make really accessible music and at the same time be totally different from the rest of the crowd without being eccentric.

The imagery of Lion Sphere playing at a winery for an audience consisting of well-dressed folks on dates is certainly corny. But if there is anyone that can pull it off in this setting, it is Lion Sphere. Being “too hip” isn’t part of this group’s game, which is based utterly on being excellent musicians and proves that this is not just another indie band with guitars and synthesizers.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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