Review – “The Hustle is a Many-Splendoured Thing” – Slight

thiamslreviewed by Michael Thomas

The last time we reviewed Slight, they were described as good at assessing themselves. In music writing the word “swirling” is probably done to death (hell, I’ve probably used the phrase dozens and dozens of times), but “swirling” is the word Slight use to describe their brand of psych-pop, and it’s a perfect descriptor.

Even the abstract album artwork represents more or less the swirl of colours you can imagine as you take in the various layers of synths and keys. And to add into this abstract stew: lyrics that really make you think. You can plunge into a world of mystery and colours and not even realize you’ve gone there.

Take a song like “Pigment and Dye,” which is the most overtly shoegaze song of the album. The synthesizers create an intensity, but it gets way more intense when it’s paired along with vivid lyrics. Listen to the song with these lyrics right in front of you and try not to freak out:

Metals and acids for pigment and dye
Hands working lithe
Making adjustments under cover of red light
Fingers on eyes

While that song has more tangible images, the opener “My Lantern” goes a bit more abstract. The synths really swirl here, and it fits with the lyrics that seem to touch on the supernatural. “Origin of Birds” might be the most thrilling song on the album, both with its lyrics about making contact with a mysterious civilization and its grungy sound that occasionally ropes in the twinkling of keys.

Everything I’ve said about the intention of these songs is probably completely off, but that’s the beauty of this EP. You’ll see what you need to see and hear what you need to hear.

Top Track: “Origin of Birds”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)

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