Covet – ‘technicolor’

By Catie

We’re not even half way through 2020 but it’s already shaping up to be a terrifying and overwhelming year, fraught with bad news story after bad news story. If there was ever a time to seek a form of escape, it’s now, despite us not actually being able to travel far beyond our back gardens. Enter Covet. The San Francisco trio’s new album, ‘technicolor’, is mesmerising and transcendental from start to finish, gently welcoming listeners into a vibrant, reverberating, dream-like state.

Traditionally, technicolor is a process used to colorize old film. In the same spirit, Covet have set out to take their progressive math rock sound, develop it and add richness through new textures, new techniques and an added vocal layer – which we see for the first time from guitarist Yvette Young. The band’s first EP, ‘Currents’ (2015), and full-length debut album, ‘effloresce’ (2018), were purely instrumental. This feels like a natural step forward and an expansion of Young’s talents, alongside bassist David Adamiak and drummer Forrest Rice.

Collectively, these ten tracks have a soothing and familiar quality yet, at the same time, offer something intriguingly fresh and new. There’s an effortless ebb and flow throughout the album, like a trailing thought pattern, which contrasts guitar pedal sorcery, feverish tremolo-picking and whammy bar dips with a dreamy vocal lull. With tracks ranging hugely in length and style, nothing feels too forced and everything is one hundred percent flawless.

The opening track, ‘good morning’, is exactly that: a soft awakening with beautiful, progressive guitar melodies – like a sunny haze on a hot summer’s morning. The next, ‘atreyu’, is heavier with more intricate, TTNG-esque riffs and rhythms. Young’s sugary sweet vocals are first introduced in ‘parachute’, with a six-string call-and-response which gives the impression of multiple instruments. Thematically, the track is about jumping and taking a risk. If this is compared with the album itself, Covet’s risk-taking has paid dividends.

The progressive and intricate track ‘predawn’ leads into ‘nero’, the first single from the album. Set within a game, the music video to ‘nero’ has a low-budget ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World’ feel with Young in a robot costume, using her music as a weapon against Adamiak and Rice. As her fingers nimbly manoeuvre the fretboard and strings, bursts of light and energy pour from the headstock to defeat the forces of evil. It’s clear that Covet don’t take themselves too seriously – nerding out in a junkyard to the sound of the darker, weightier song – and that’s exactly what makes them all the more likeable.

Offering a light and airy interlude at just over a minute and a half long, ‘pirouette’ spins into another heavier track, ‘ares’. One of TTNG’s best-loved albums, ‘Animals’ (2008), features single-word song titles named after animals. It’s possible, then, that ‘parrot’ is a nod to their work, a technically complex track with a jazzy outro that draws a number of parallels. Meaning wrathful or angry in Greek, ‘odessa’ is the longest track on ‘technicolor’, an emotive track that introduces strings. The album culminates with ‘farewell’, which is once again graced with Young’s vocals, and a gradual fade into the end.

The finesse demonstrated by Covet, and the breath-taking explosion of colour and emotion that they’ve captured on ‘technicolor’, is nothing short of extraordinary. This album is, truly, to be coveted.

CATIE ALLWRIGHT

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