The full-length debut album from North Carolina's RBTS Win, 2014's Palm Sunday is a hazy, often psychedelic landslide of hypnotic, melodic pop and groove-oriented atmospherics. Showcasing the talent of producer/songwriters Javier Bolea and Cliff B. Worsham, RBTS Win mix keyboards with samples and beats to create layered sonic palettes with which they construct songs. Imagine the enigmatic, sample-driven, experimental hip-hop sound of the Avalanches combined with the indie rock sound of MGMT and Phoenix, and you will be pretty close to the sound RBTS Win achieve here. Tracks like "Beach Child," "Tidal Prism," and "Purple Smoke," mix RBTS Win's yearning vocals over dreamlike, cinematic, orchestral samples and circular synth lines. Other cuts, like the languid "Death Magic," "Mountain Child," and "When I Think of You," strike a balance between lo-fi '60s pop of the Nuggets collections and modern, alternative R&B. That said, RBTS Win are a fairly eclectic duo and never push their music too strongly in any one stylistic direction. The result is that even the very hip-hop-friendly "Live from the Center of the World," featuring rapper Schyler Chaise, ends up sounding just as influenced by '90s British trip-hop bands like Sneaker Pimps as it does by the culture of the 2000s mixtape rap. There's even an undercurrent of vintage '60s and '70s analog electronic music running through many of the tracks on Palm Sunday, as evidenced by the flowing instrumental "Take Me Up." Ultimately, with Palm Sunday, RBTS Win have crafted a textured, finely woven album that pulls you deeper into its threads the more you listen.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar