Trio Ian Sweet, the brainchild of Los Angelinos guitarist Jilian Medford, relocated from Boston to Brooklyn in 2016. The city has been kind to them: the group has gathered a fair amount of interest since the move, after which they released two records in quick succession (their early releases, a lot more experimental, date back as far as 2013). While the earlier of the two (a self titled mini-LP) sounds like a transitional album, 'Shapeshifter' delivers a sound that's edgy, fun and mature - within the perimeters of the DIY aesthetics, which despise maturity. It's a mix of math rock, indie pop and psychedelia that marries the cerebral and the imaginative in surprising ways. Jilian's voice, always distorted in a blurry way, conveys a violent brightness to the tracks, and is at times reminiscent of early Bjork. Breakout single #23 (streaming bewlow) is the perfect exemplification of the band's disciplinately unruly pop expressionism. The record is a constant surprise, full of incredibly vibrant sounds, often drenched with rare passion ('2soft2chew') but also prone to playfulness ('All Skaters Go To Heaven'). The feeling we get is that 'Shapeshifter' is a sonic portrait of a band in the perfect musical sweet spot (like the Pixies on 'Surfer Rosa'), that confidently balances a youthful imagination with quality songwriting, and a sound that's daring without being over-produced.
Ian Sweet will soon be going on tour that will take them to Austin for SXSW and then to the West Coast.
We added this song to The Deli's playlist of Best songs by emerging NYC artists - check it out!