Eclectic electro-indie pop alchemists Geographer build on the appeal of their 2008 full-length debut Innocent Ghosts and buzzworthy 2010 Animal Shapes EP with Myth, their first album since signing to the Modern Art label. Animal Shapes attracted "artist to watch" coverage by SPIN and Paste magazines as well as MTV for its unique blend of electronics, strings, and bandleader Mike Deni's gentle, almost operatic vocals, an approach that continues with Myth but matures thanks to its more experimental song structures and more contemplative lyrics. As Deni reflects on loss and heartbreak, he and bandmates cellist/electronics player Nathan Blaz and drummer/singer Brian Ostreicher craft layers of electronic textures and guitar/drum arrangements into a collection of exuberant, grand songs that belie their depth of emotion. Geographer excels at these unlikely pairings and detours, whether bringing electric guitar to the forefront in contrast to their other compositions ("The Myth of Youth"), juxtaposing jagged guitar and propulsive drums against cinematic strings (the Dark City-referencing "Shell Beach"), channeling Animal Collective with fluttering synth and vocal manipulations ("Kaleidoscope"), or stripping away most of the layers for slower, more expansive offerings ("The Boulder," "Vesijarvi"). Myth especially shines with "Lover's Game," which combines the celebratory attitude (if not lyrics) and choppy beats of Daft Punk with the elastic piano playing and synth-meets-strings breakdown that's singularly Geographer, and "Kites," which originated on Animal Shapes but bears revisiting for its deceptively catchy (and again, unlikely paired) 8-bit blips and melancholy cello runs. Geographer continue to develop and hone their unconventional sound with Myth, and with the help of producer Eli Crews and mixer Chris Zane (whose past credits include work with artists like tUnE-yArDs, Passion Pit, and Deerhoof) in the studio, they sound better and more focused than ever.
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AllMusic Review by Chrysta Cherrie