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Menomena with PVT

Menomena with PVT

Wed. 10/03 | 8:00PM

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During the last decade, Menomena has become its own reference point. From hooks wrapped around plummeting baritone saxophone lines and nearly inhuman rhythms to serpentine lyrical frameworks and high-concept album art, Menomena has established a singular and unmistakable aesthetic. They embed magic and mystery within pop songs that have never sat still or taken the path of least pressure.


After 2010's irrepressible and intricate mines, Menomena co-founder Brent Knopf took his leave to focus on his solo project causing Justin Harris and Danny Seim — close friends since high school and now well into their second decade of making music together — to recast Menomena as a duo. They didn't slow down; they actually sped up, writing, recording and releasing moms with more focus and speed than ever before.


Harris and Seim didn't invite loads of friends or collaborators to replace Knopf; they made these songs as a duo, intent on proving — directly to themselves, and by extension, to everyone else — that Menomena essentially remains the same brazen band responsible for friend and foe, under an hour and all the gut-punch, pop-ambition moments therein. They added new instruments, like flute, cello, more of Seim's synthesizers and the tap-dancing that actually laces through the teasing-then-charging opus, don't mess with latexas. 


For the first time, Harris and Seim, who each contribute five songs here, talked about what they were writing, too. Seim explored the death of his mother when he was but a teenager, while Harris investigated the way his own family dynamic — a single mom, with a departed dad — left indelible impressions on everything he's done since. The album's pieces connect, then, addressing how people must rise to face or flee circumstances beyond their control. It's perhaps the most appropriately imaginable prompt for a band whose last two years have depended upon their ability to explore, adapt and improve.

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