Review by Ellen Eldridge
Getting lost is one of the most attractive aspects of music. Concept albums and stacked up songs that let you lose and then find yourself layer by layer aid in catharsis as much as in solidifying an identity. Who would we be without those songs that sealed our first kisses and worst break-ups?
Lost Animal’s debut album, Ex Tropical, all at once encapsulates the attraction of escape with the solace of being found. The atmosphere keyboardist Jarrod Quarrell creates makes use of multiple sounds that call out for exploration of the physical as well as the musical landscape of dreams, hopes and visions. Quarrell says he always wanted a broad palette to paint with but had been limited by what his band members could play. The versatility of a keyboard allowed for his fervent exploration. “Having access to any sound you can imagine through a keyboard opens up the possibilities endlessly,” Quarrell said.
The title track itself takes on an airy quality that feels like a dream or the soundtrack to a surreal painting. Its lack of lyrics lets the listener float by softly, making the track easy to miss. Its position in the middle of the album makes it a refreshing and relaxing intermission where listeners can dissect the elements while analyzing the chord progressions.
“Lose the Baby” hints vocally at Tom Petty while staying refreshing. The rhythmic guitar strumming in the introduction wakes the listener up for the second half of Ex Tropical.
Shifting musical exploration categorizes the debut from Lost Animal. Quarrell was joined by bassist Shags Chamberlain and producer John Lee, who contributed some guitar, percussion, and synthesizers for the project. The personal histories of the creators mesh with the explorative instrumentation, which creates a unifying and solid album. The perfect mix of quiet introspection and cathartic exploration exists on Lost Animal’s Ex Tropical.
Released on Jan. 29 on Hardly Art Records