Words: Laura Eley
Up until early this year Nate Eiesland, Alissa Ricci and Ryne Estwing made up three parts of what was Chicago based indie pop five piece Scattered Trees, before – as their band page states – feeling ‘a different kind of bond, an unspoken musical connection’, which obviously the former drummer and guitarist lacked.
After breaking in 2012, the band still had studio time to use up, so from the ashes of Scattered Trees rose On An On (no typo), an electro-indie/ dream-pop / shoegaze affair drizzled with as much warped synth fuzz as lo-fi Beach House-esque lethargy.
Inspired by the likes of Bjork and Radiohead, their debut album ‘Give In’ is an astonishing ten track amalgamation of sugar shaken, dream- washed bliss, so intricate and diverse it’s almost hard to believe the construction, production and recording took place in under a year. Opener and first release ‘Ghosts’ leads with its abstract percussion and whooping male vocal reminiscent of LULS’ track ‘young’, whilst American Dream shimmies and shakes its way through three minutes of surfy guitars, and hazy vocal chords.
It’s synth-washed summery anthem The Hunter though which, with its heightening warped vocal build up and rippling drum backed refrain, will no doubt cause hairs to stand on end. Bad Mythology takes yet another turn, shot though with reverb-heavy drones, rock-band riffs and falsetto vocal sighs.
On An On are wispy and delicate – their debut is a delight. Seemingly less afraid of experimentation than their previous band, ‘Give In’ does exactly the opposite of Scattered Trees ‘Sympathy’, which ambled into the depths of sadness, and instead embraces multi-layered textures, toys with conflicting production methods and douses itself with a spectral glitter that fails to dim throughout.