Olivia Tremor Control offers mind expanding musical experience

In the midst of today’s ever growing musical world, it can be hard to find anything; sometimes people don’t even know where to begin. While this may not show you every song, album or EP that you’d ever dream of hearing, let this inspire you to search and dive into the infinitely deep hole that is the modern music world.

Coming from Anthens, Ga., The Olivia Tremor Control combines neo-psychedelia and indie rock to create one of the strangest yet most enjoyable listens I’ve experienced across my time listening to music. The band consists of Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, Eric Harris, John Fernandes and Peter Erchick. To explain the music of Black Foliage, it would be best to pull from Buddhism, specifically the concept of Bardo, a transitional/liminal state of being that exists between death and rebirth. This album puts the listener in this state by using the parts it was composed of, and I’m not just talking about the music itself. Building off of liminal field recordings and recollections of dreams, it’s easy to understand how cerebral this album can be if you just sit down, close your eyes and let yourself experience it.

Throughout the album, there are multiple patterns that the listener can easily pick up on. Starting with the songs dubbed “Black Foliage (Animation #),” there are instrumental tracks that possibly would’ve had animations made to accompany them, but those animations were never created, so all that’s left is the listener’s imagination. Another consistency across the album would be the tracks titled “Combinations,” acting as short transitions from one song to the next, often they aren’t really musically inclined, more so they are a combination of real sounds and noises all put together.

Relating this album to dreams isn’t hard, seeing as how mental the album already is. Looking at the songs as similar to dreams, you can take away small nuggets of information, whether that be not hiding from your dreams, or the fact that things will change and grow even without your own perception of said thing changing. While Black Foliage is very reminiscent of albums like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles or Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, this album stands on its own, having its own self-contained feelings and intentions that take the listener through a strange ride of sounds. This album, in all of its oddities, I think is more than deserving of a 9.5/10, truly a piece worth experiencing if you enjoy getting out of left field.

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