Effloresce: To burst into bloom; to change throughout the surface to a powdery substance upon exposure to air, as a crystalline substance through loss of water.
The Orphean instrumentalists of this Bay Area 3-piece have refined their sound to a brilliance that deserves illumination. Like their namesake, Covet has both blossomed and crystallized- into a complex and tensionless vessel for the band’s wordless message. Their signature style- of nimble melodies, out-of-the-box time signatures, and bright-eyed emotionality- has reached a high point with Effloresce.
Effloresce accomplishes magic- It connects a listener to a seldom-seen force in music that effortlessly connects a listener to a galvanized emotional truth. Effloresce speaks this intimate, secret language of energetic sentiment in ways that feel more natural and accessible than our own native languages.
In a world that finds a new reason each day to disconnect itself from its latent emotions, Effloresce is a rare embrace with a deeply nourishing sentiment. Without words, Covet opens the gate to a flood of feeling that feels lucid and comforting. The gap between tone and sentiment is virtually nonexistent. The ease which a listener can explore and interpret different passages is nothing short of revolutionary.
“I connect, almost instantly, to a deep sense of adoration.”
Take Effloresce’s introductory track, “Shibuya”. The intro guitar reonates like a complete idea, sounding like a delicate invitation to a forest pizza party. Then, a vibrant interweaving of seamless phrases whisks the listener away into a cozy patchwork of mosaic themes. Sweet bell tones, soda-bubble melodies, and a crystal-clear progression paint a playful and curious picture. I connect, almost instantly, to a deep sense of adoration.
“Each note fits into their unorthodox cubbies better than ever.”
I feel this adoration the most in the guitar work of Effloresce. Guitarist Yvette Young’s riffs are inspired; they embody both a lush sound and an intuitive feeling. Young’s intricate melodies comfortably break standard musical convention and invite a sense of wonder. Nothing feels left behind or concealed. Young plays with an absence of inhibition, which makes for a truly liberating listen. This concept has been prevalent since the band’s start, but it is apparent that her work has improved from the last EP. Each note fits into their unorthodox cubbies better than ever.
Percussionist Forrest Rice rocks a significant influence on the tension and texture of each song. Rice gives a pulse to the ultra-mathy time signatures of Effloresce and contributes hugely to making the album as digestible as it is. Rice’s clarity in “Sea Dragon” is one of the most laudable improvements to the track, and his textures in “Falkor” make the song truly adventurous.
Bassist David Adamiak gives crunch and counter-melody to some of Effloresce’s harder-hitting parts. His contributions to extra-crunchy licks in “Falkor” and applaudable counter-melodies in “Sea Dragon” are highlight parts of Effloresce’s repertoire.
Old Favorites Made Anew:
Covet breathed new life into an old favorite in Effloresce. “Sea Dragon”, a favorite from the last EP, is revisited and full to bursting with new details and unsurpassed clarity. Crisp percussion textures, enthralling melodic layers, and a feature from the legendary Mario Camarena make for an entirely new song. Re-releases can be tricky, but “Sea Dragon” instantly won my heart. It may be my favorite track off the album altogether.
No Ordinary Features:
Effloresce has changed my mind about what features can be like, they go beyond playing. Both “Shibuya” and “Sea Dragon” create a unique electricity that really resonates. These features create afterimages of overwhelming sentiment, shared between some of the sharpest minds and freest hearts of the Math Rock world.
Camarena’s feature is a perfect example. He seamlessly bridges the gap between his guitar’s fretboard and the contents of this soul, to deliver heartfelt cascades with jaw-drop eloquence. Never before have I felt such a solemn determination to speak volumes from Camarena’s fretwork than in “Sea Dragon”. It’s truly out of this world.
A Quick Ascent:
Effloresce is a display of some of the most emotionally attuned music I’ve ever listened to. Covet’s Effloresce has skyrocketed its way to the top of my list of songs whose feelings I wish to bottle up.
“So Mathy, I’m gonna need an answer key.”
Effloresce is Covet’s most emotionally accessible piece yet. However, the last thirteen minutes of the album- “Falkor” and “Howl”, are a tad tough to swallow. The two songs are a journey full-to-bursting with especially complex instrumentals. These are transformative parts, changing often and drastically. “Falkor’s” interplay between ambient melodies and screaming buzz-chords will draw smiles from fans of Post Hardcore’s vocal duality. Though especially heady, Effloresce’s end still feels like familiar turf.
“Falkor” feels clustered with especially busy licks, and “Howl” hammers home with a mix of melancholy and grit that both grows and growls. The songs offer a busy mix of thoughts, propelled by the ambient fretwork that Covet is known for. However, it may take a listener a couple of close listens before they can soak it all in.
If mathy instrumentals could connect to emotion like an electrical circuit, then Effloresce is a unique superconductor of its genre. It accomplishes a connection of emotional transparency par none and digs straight to the depths of a listener’s heartstrings. Effloresce hits like an unrestrained floodgate of emotion, and sustains an awe-inspiring release.
Effloresce has been so, so easy to love so far. I will be falling asleep to this EP for many a month to come.