Emerging only two years ago to a plethora of positive criticism from the likes of Q, Pitchfork and NME following their ‘Another Night’s Dreams Reach Earth Again’ EP, Liverpool five-piece ‘Outfit’ are back with their thankfully less wordily titled debut ‘Performance’. Recorded and produced in a home-made studio which previously served as a dining room, the album sees the Liverpudlians sound mature and grow with a collection of tracks ranging from heady psychedelic melancholia to off-kilter, euphoric pop.
The key pulses, drilling vocal echoes and mantra-like chorus of first release ‘I Want What’s Best’ somehow sound ever more potent when sandwiched between ‘Nothing Big’ – an ode to late nights, friendship and love – and blog-hyped latest release ‘House On Fire’- a progressive cascade of eerie synth washes and eroding electronics, which seem to echo the songs narrative of a relationship breaking down.
Title track ‘Performance’ is laden with experimental, looped field recordings, haunting sonics and an almost lulling vocal, whilst ‘Spraypaint’ opens with spooked, crunching samples and a wistfully yearning vocal-creating an ominous, almost dystopian double up of tracks.
‘Thank God I Was Dreaming’ drifts into more light-hearted, breezy realms -its tropically infatuating programmed beats, gently ambling melody and floating tones simmer in metaphoric beauty as front man Andrew Hunt sings ‘Heaven claps, light refracts// make a rainbow out of black”, before ‘Two Islands’ progressive beat and dream-washed, richly textured percussion close the album in an aptly hypnotizing fashion.
Taking psych-pop to its most melancholy of depths whilst simultaneously maintaining their synth-tinged buoyancy, Outfit’s ‘performance’ – in both senses – so far has set them up for future greatness.