The Sufis

Double Exposure

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The Sufis' fourth album, Double Exposure, follows in the same lo-fi, weird, and woolly bedroom psych footsteps as their previous album did. Only this time the duo have a much more focused and animated approach to the writing and recording process and punch their performances up just a touch. The sound might be oddly smooth and bathed in cheapo synths, warbly vocals, and drums that sound like they have an inch of water sloshing around inside them, but the songs are shiny and sharp as diamonds. Each track connects like a sucker punch, whether it's the bubbling post-Ariel Pink pop of "Find Your Friends," the compressed jangle pop of "Cleveland," the moody new wave of "Too Far," or the misty-lens soft rock of "5 AM." The duo show mastery of vocal harmonies throughout, each instrument sounds perfectly cheesy, the sound is murky while still managing to strut and swoon as needed, and perhaps best of all, there are no dub reggae diversions this time around, though the echo and space of dub is baked into the arrangements. Double Exposure is the kind of album that encourages the listener to drop out and let the music flow over them like a gentle brook, caressing their ears with warm and relaxing music if they choose. Each track also works as a single dose of excellent modern weirdness, coated in memorable memories and delivered with just the right mixture of tender emotion and blasé weirdness. It seemed like maybe the Sufis were headed down the wrong road, one that would lead to them being just another group making this kind of oddly popular music. Instead, they vault to the forefront of the style with an album that shows off their skills as writers, performers, producers, and arrangers like none of their other records has, and few other bands of their ilk have either.

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