Zalex goes for a sincere take on chamber pop on the stately indie rock of “Hindsight”. There is a kindness within the sound for Zalex has a reflective stance throughout much of the journey. Stylistically they are rooted within an urbane pop affect, though elements of jazz, rock, and electronica filter into the luxurious album. Best of all of the whole experience comes the calm assured vocalist whose lyrics revel in an abstracted form of poetry, akin to Sam Prekop’s work with the Sea and Cake, as well as his solo ventures. Full of life the songs radiate such a tremendous range of color, for there is a peacefulness to the sound that has such a comforting presence.
The stately, polished presence of the sound recalls a bit of Brooklyn’s band Hospitality in terms of its genteel demeanor. Like Hospitality, there is a joy and a grace to the way they allow the melodies to waft on through. Beyond this, the dream pop affect brings to mind some of Galaxie 500’s blissed-out atmospherics. Everything here has a certain degree of density to it for they allow the many layers of sound to intermingle, bouncing off each other. Going to the more modern, they have a mellowed Beach House cadence to much of it.
So spacious, they start things out with “Pieces” which sets the tone for what follows. When they sing “Brooklyn” it touches my heart, as someone who grew up in NYC and now lives thousands of miles away. The piano work has a passion to it and when the beats enter the mix it adds to the majestic quality of the textures. Folk emerges out of the communal “Friend” where they offer a nod to Grizzly Bear’s delicate arrangements. The cyclical presence of “Endless” neatly revels in deep thought regarding reincarnation.
By far the highlight comes from the highly personal “Normal”. Here the lyrics are straight from the heart, as he sings about living with ADHD. There is a defiance to it, one of hope to embrace one’s own distinct uniqueness. A bit of pining, a bit of yearning, yet the acceptance that underpins the message has a lovely quality. Giddy guitar work is woven together on the fantastic finale of “Origami”. Aptly named, the many different angles of the sound result in a unique geometric sound, one that folds so many different genres into the dense mix.
“Hindsight” shows off Zalex’s uncanny ability to create a warm, welcoming mood that fully engrosses the listener.