National Skyline

This = Everything

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The sophomore release from National Skyline features more of the complex and obscure pop aesthetic that was established on their previous releases. Featuring members of Hum, Caster, and Compound Red, some may be surprised by the decidedly non-indie rock sound of This = Everything, though the adventurous soul will be rewarded. Layering atmospheric electronics, ringing guitars, and ethereal vocals over tight drum loops, the slithering "Some Will Say" and densely textured "A Million Circles" almost recall a more progressive U2 sensibility. Still, this sonic denseness never becomes cluttered, even allowing a ponderous amount of empty space in certain arrangements. A few melodies take Radiohead-esque turns, with the tense, churning guitars of "The Look" establishing an accessible though rarely overt pop songcraft. The nearly danceable beats of "A Night at the Drugstore" and expansive detachment and stuttering drum loops of "Morse Code" display the diversity of sounds in National Skyline's intelligently crafted sonic palette. Overall, a rewarding and engaging listen.

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