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Review: The Royal Arctic Institute 'From Coma to Catharsis' (Beats Per Minute)

"Dubbing their work “post-everything”, New York band The Royal Arctic Institute combines the erratic rhythms of jazz with the fragmented eclecticism of post-punk, creating a sound that rides the rails of multiple genres without ever setting down in one for more than a few moments. Their last collection 2021’s “From Catnip to Coma” was produced by James McNew of Yo La Tengo, and they’ve brought him to handle the boards of their new EP, “From Coma to Catharsis”. For these six tracks, the band has approached their inclusive sound with restraint, offering softer sounds, verging on ambient at times – the music unfurling quietly and with little desire to call attention to itself.

Despite its calm demeanor, the album isn’t apathetic when it comes to evoking moments of emotional depth. The guitars shimmer and catch the light just right, bringing to mind early morning hours when the day is still full of potential. The members of the band have over 50 years combined experience playing with artists like Roky Erickson, Arthur Lee, Townes Van Zandt, and Shilpa Ray. And the music is informed of all their histories, molded through their communal affections and driven by a need to express certain sounds drifting through their subconscious. From Coma to Catharsis is fitting companion to their previous full-length and finds the band slowing down to revel in the complexities of their common inspirations, finding purpose and insight through this divination of countless influences." - Joshua Pickard

Full article at Beats Per Minute


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