(Digital Download - Pias #PIASDIGITAL519)

Review by Mark Deming

After releasing their long-awaited debut album in 2014, U.K. noise pop artists Cheatahs return with a four-song EP that finds them exploring new thematic directions. Murasaki plays homage to the work of Murasaki Shikibu, the 11th century Japanese author and poet who penned The Tale of Genji, a story of love, politics, and social position that is often cited as the first modern novel. While Murasaki Shikibu's themes inform the EP's lyrics (some sung in Japanese), the music is a logical extension of the Cheatahs' previous work, with noisy guitars and languid keyboards joining together to create bracing, atmospheric soundscapes that are at once beautiful and physically powerful.

blue highlight denotes track pick