A Lull – Confetti

written by: April 22, 2011
A Lull - Confetti album cover Release Date: April 12, 2011


Chicago indie band A Lull have released their long-awaited debut, Confetti. The group possesses a truly unique sound, one that will unfairly be compared to Animal Collective, despite its highly singular aesthetic. In fact, attempting to fit the record into a strict genre would be an act of invalidity.

A Lull are clearly unconcerned with creating music that fits itself into a niche. Instead, they rely on rhythm and percussion to drive home a sound that’s as accessible as it is thoughtfully crafted.

Lyrically, lead singer Nigel Dennis proves to be as much a nihilist as he is a hedonist. Many the tracks on Confetti revolved around a similar theme of ominous abandonment, the subject of which almost always returning to acts of carnality. Like the track “Mammals,” in which he proclaims, “All we know are each others’ holes,” or “Phem,” where he suggests “You play games with your body, in a good way/Find you to be made in the right way.”

Dennis’ sophomoric outlook can be asinine, but his tongue remains firmly in his cheek. His apparent unconcern in appearing juvenile is obvious in the richly textured music that finds its way onto the album.

Confetti proves to be the most fitting title: Despite the pulsating percussion arrangements, the album boasts a listless sound that falls with grace amid the thunderous commotion. The excellent “Phem” is perhaps the prime example of this aesthetic. With its vociferous yet unobtrusive rhythm structure, the band is able to explore a wide palate of melody.

The album’s opener, “Weapons for War” proves an adequate introduction for A Lull. Throbbing instrumentation and Dennis’ off-kilter vocal stylization  are in full effect, as his penchant for vague yet capricious lyricism: “I went home with my very best friend/With a gun, with a blade, with a name.”

From there, the album is a roller coaster of sound and rhythm. It’s a remarkable feat. Despite the frenetic tonal quality, Confetti excels in finding its way back down to Earth without sacrificing its forward-thinking pop sensibility.

The album flows effortlessly, with each track melting into the other. This is made all the more perplexing considering the oscillating sounds that permeate the experience. The band’s unrelenting barrage of drum and bass is really the only consistent theme.

By and large, A Lull opt for tasteful experimentation as opposed to complacent arrangement.

There are missteps, however. The lethargic and hideously titled “Pregnancy” falls victim to its own weightiness, while the Animal Collective-channeling—and equally as absurdly titled—“White Girls” seems unfocused compared to the album’s stronger tracks.

But these minor deviations aren’t enough to detract from how thoroughly enjoyable the album is. Confetti stomps and bellows through a barrage of reverberating sounds. Though a surefire headphones record, the sounds A Lull support are tailor-made for the kind of environment that bolster the echoing booms and sonic synthesizing they create.

A Lull – Confetti Tracklist:

  1. “Weapons For War”
  2. “Mammals”
  3. “Some Love”
  4. “Dark Stuff”
  5. “White Girl”
  6. “Phem”
  7. “Pregnancy”
  8. “Sidemen”
  9. “Water & Beasts”
  10. “Spread It All Around”
  11. “Aytche”