Evan Mix – ‘Glare Cursed’

Cover art text by Stavroula Adamopoulou

The new album from Evan Mix, Glare Cursed unveils an engaging avant-garde pop listening experience. From nostalgic upright bass echoes to synth-infused brightness alongside vocal intrigue, its production showcases a rewardingly unique tapestry. Dual vocal layers, dynamic shifts, and compelling lyricism bolsters a range of soundscapes, from infectious funkiness to introspective melodics.

Opening track “The Descending of Remains” stirs with its upright bass reverberations and debonair vocal presence. “Now that need has a name,” dual vocal layers let out amidst the percussive pit-pattering, evoking a sense of beat-poetry capriciousness that aligns well with the structural developments; the stutter-y, darkly menacing shift around the two-minute mark compels as the vocals fade, indicative of structural ingenuity on display throughout the album. Some blasts of guitar in the final minute further the palpable momentum, seizing throughout.

“Where Should I Ask?” follows with a more synth-laden effervescence and approachability. “So where should I ask to take you?” the vocals question, evolving into a moving duet alongside a spacey electronic-pop soundscape; the quaintly melodic arsenal reminds fondly of Magnetic Fields. The lush electro-pop soundscape does well in sitting between the suave opener and late-night funkiness within “Alyosha Left,” escalating with fervent captivation with death-fearing lyricism and bass-y invigoration alongside a stream-of-conscious vocal feeling.

A satiating culmination of stutter-y keys and additional vocal layers — also featuring harmony vocals from Millicent Chimonyo-Ntubi — impress on the album’s title track, while the subsequent “Jerk and Jerk” is amongst the album’s most infectious efforts. Buzzing synth, twinkling keys, and punchy vocal charisma lead the way, with a catchy title-referencing refrain consuming alongside the warbled synth tones and sporadic twinkling of keys. Glare Cursed shows well throughout both more pop-minded immediacy in the vein of “Jerk and Jerk” and more abstract adventures like the title track.

Subsequently, “Daring Without Shame” captivates especially in its title-touting sequence, melding various vocal layers within twangy plucks, steady synth-bass, and dreamy synth shimmers. The sporadic vocals arrive beautifully into the “what you are is truly,” radiance. “Mooshee Ooshees” struts a playful demeanor in following this up and lightening the mood, encouraging to get oneself “back out there,” alongside flourishing synths and sophisti-pop “drive this one home,” vocal adornments.

The fragmented synth propulsions and yearning vocal retrospection within “I Think About Her Every Day” closes the album with melodically emotive strengths, sending off Glare Cursed with an atmospheric vein of avant-garde pop befitting of its consistently strong songwriting throughout.

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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