Attic Space - Formative (Cover Artwork)

Attic Space

Formative (2014)


Attic Space paints a vivid picture with "Formative". I imagine an old NES starting up and glitching melodically, and an ancient disco ball splaying the walls of a dimly lit basement with psychedelic colors. The synth—ridden soundtrack to Napoleon Dynamite also comes to mind. All of those 80's vibes are prevalent and warped to oblivion in Formative. Finding a way to describe this project initially proved as a challenge to me. Eventually I called it drone/electro—pop/ambient/experimental.

Although Formative is broken up into ten songs, it feels more like one long score to a bizarre movie. From the opening track, "Sounds of the Night", a wave of looped synths, lo—fi percussion, and other digital noises wash in. As the album progresses, so does the instrumentation. Acoustic guitars, reverb soaked vocals, and glitchy percussion (like the sound of train tracks) all periodically enter into the album, then exit before overstaying their welcome. Some tracks, such as "Submerged", do the opposite. A percussive chuga—chuga—chugging plays all the way through the eight minute track alongside with strung out guitar loops, leaving the listener entranced and unsettled.

The themes are quite varied and interesting. Upbeat songs such as "Sounds of the Night" and "Well Wishes" deliver an undeniable feeling of summer and danciness. Conversely, down—tempo songs like "Time|emiT" and "Rain Rain" accomplish potent sadness, and even attain the quality of being quite cerebral. The listener may be in for a few other surprises, such as the vocals in "Future" being very reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and other shoegaze acts. Or even the laid—back atmosphere of the one minute long "Intergalactic Dance Club", which feels a lot like something out of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Formative is a blend of sounds that feels more refreshing with each listen. Although the production isn't perfect, the different textures and creative elements more than make up for it. Perfect production would only really serve to strip Formative of its DIY charm, anyway. I highly recommend listening. And for the over—achievers, listen with closed eyes in a warm and cozy attic.