The Needle Drop

Stream the New Fang Island LP

New MusicchriscapComment

Stream: Fang Island- Major This new album from the Rhode Island-based group Fang Island could not have come at a better time of year. These psychedelic math rockers have a penchant for face melting guitars and anthemic, singalong choruses that evoke the summer months, and their new full length album Major brings both of these qualities in heavy doses. Although it keeps the fist-pumping energy and melodic euphoria of their past releases intact, Major finds the group branching out musically and exploring new territory as songwriters. Most notably, this record features a much clearer focus on lyrics and traditional singing. Guitarist Jason Bartell handles most of the lead vocals, singing lines that mostly deal with rejecting the pressures of adulthood for simpler feelings and the innocence of childhood. "Everything I know I learned in kindergarten," he sings in the chorus of the opening track.

The musical palette is colored mostly by Bartell's guitar, which adds plenty of glorious harmonizing riffs and solos to the mix. Meanwhile, the supplementary instrumental flourishes, such as the plinking piano in "Kindergarten" and the chiptune synths on "Seek It Out" add some variety and help emphasize the themes expressed in the lyrics. Fang Island's music has always had a starry-eyed, childlike quality to it, but the group expresses it more overtly than ever on Major. 

The album drops July 24th on Sargent House Records, but you can stream it in full today as part of NPR Music's First Listen series.