Album Review: Consilience – Under Our Beds

Published On July 1, 2016 | By Haydon Benfield | Albums, Music

Consilience started out in 2011 as just Tasy Hudson playing synthesiser, guitar, and using a loop pedal.  Hudson soon realised that her music would be better conveyed via a more conventional band arrangement, and so Louis Mendez, Dylan Howard and Aidan Lucas-Buckland were inducted into the band and late 2014 saw the release of the Walking Through a Dead Night EP.  Now, a little over 18 months later the group, from Edmonton, Alberta, are releasing their début album, Under Our Beds.  For Under Our Beds Hudson has once again taken centre stage, and demonstrated her musical chops, by providing most of the instrumentation herself.

Consilience - Under Our BedsThree of the album’s tracks – Grim, Home Soon, and Walking Through a Dead Night – are reworkings of songs from that first EP.  The changes to these songs is more than cosmetic, yet less than structural.  Grim has its reverb soaked, post-rock, guitar replaced by a more controlled, though still textured, synth part which is suitably dark and heavy at the songs commencement, as fits the lyrics – “grin and bear it/trust that when you fall asleep/you’ll wake/in the morning”.  Simplifying the bass line for this track seems like a poor decision, but the synth and drums lend a reasonable punch to the song, and overall the transposition from indie infused post-rock to dark dream-pop is compellingly executed.

Home Soon is taken out of the garage and put into the studio, with piano replacing gritty guitar with sweet and airy melodies, while bass and drums are pushed back into the mix, leaving the track feeling more “adult”.  A similar effect is achieved on Walking Through a Dead Night, which here undercuts its upbeat musicality with patches of downbeat strings.  As is ebbs and flows, Sober proves surprisingly catchy, with Hudson providing vocal syncopations over the chorus’ twisting melody.  It is a strong composition that charms over multiply listenings.  Lead single, Soft and Slow, adds a decent dollop of quirk to proceedings by shifting its musical approach repeatedly.  It is an interesting choice of song to represent the album.

Throughout Under Our Beds Hudson proves to be a talented musician, with her voice well suited to the dream-pop and indie-rock that Consilience produce, but it is difficult to see why she chose to be so hands on with this release.  Grim, Home Soon, and Walking Through a Dead Night, were interesting and complete in their original form, and while these new adaptations are good in their own right they are also unnecessary, and in many ways lacking for the absence of other musical voices.  Which proves to be Under Our Beds Achilles’ heel, with the album’s dream-pop vibe becoming monotonous by the record’s end.

3.5 / 5 stars     

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