Good Heavens

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Following their glistening and exhilarating 2014 EP This Bloom by nearly a year, Monogold offers a stark contrast in tone and approach with Good Heavens. Instead of a danceable color field of layered effects and harmonics, here they present a reflective, quasi-acoustic song set defined by arpeggiated acoustic guitars, woodwinds, and hand percussion. It's like their Debussy album to This Bloom's Prokofiev. Still lush and atmospheric, with Keith Kelly's ethereal vocals blending more than leading, it's an elegant version of the band that doesn't lose their trippy, kaleidoscopic essence. Also maintaining the nature theme from the previous EP, the uber-mellow "Orchard Beach" sways like a lullaby with a hummable tune that delivers phrases like "clouds crawl overhead" and "swirling through the air, orange leaves are dancing." The groovier "Pink Lemonade" is governed by syncopated bass and guitar hooks, with a bridge that launches Kelly above the treetops ("Pull the moon under me and we'll glow to sleep"). The record also includes a slowed, serene version of "Holograms," a highlight from This Bloom. Hypnotic and exquisite throughout, Good Heavens is by all accounts a temporary departure for the band, but shouldn't be dismissed as a mere lark.

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