Herman Martinez – ‘Immortal Jellyfish’

A textured, psychedelic rock creativity shows throughout Immortal Jellyfish, the recent album from New Jersey-based artist Herman Martinez. The release follows up 2021 full-length Continuity Errors, whose track “Days Without” first caught our ears with its folk-to-rock ascent. Immortal Jellyfish continues Martinez’ penchant for satiating structural evolution and powerful rock multi-instrumentalism, impressing across the 18-track epic that is Immortal Jellyfish.

“This is the soundtrack to aging backwards. Sounds to dye the silence,” Martinez says of the album. Much of its lyrics are introspective, emphasizing love, the passing of time, and parenthood. The title track opener eschews lyricism in favor of captivating roaring guitar distortion and a fleeting prog-rock resonance, building into the fervent alt-rocker “Cassettes.” There, an array of twinkling piano, twangy guitars, and rising distortion complement stirring lyrics that seek discovery and transformation. “Reaching for something to bring back, some proof of where I’ve been,” the vocals let out, enthralling amidst a range of vibrant guitar trickling and soaring vocal layers.

Another highlight, “The Secret Few” meshes gliding acoustics and understated piano within a morose contemplation. “Do you miss the place, or do you miss the years?” the vocals question, pondering on the intricacies of nostalgia. “Midnighter” infuses more charismatic piano energy with an enjoyably loose jazz-touched rock fervency, while 10-minute finale “Changing Colors While Dreaming” sends off the album with a final display of atmospheric captivation. Elegant strings and prancing piano drive into vocals that declare “there is no more in-between, where you are and where you’ve been,” furthering concepts of time and self-discovery. Its evolution from wistful orchestral components to heavy-rock ardency continues to emphasize Martinez’ gripping songwriting and tendency for rewarding tonal shifts.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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