Seattle prog rockers Autumn Electric have returned with their fifth studio album “Star Being Earth Child” earlier this year. The album has an engaging story to tell, and it does it with support from music that is nothing less captivating.
The album opens with “Infinite Islands Engulfed in the Silence,” a wonderfully fanciful, inspiring, and original way to start. Michael Trew sings with the peculiar cadences, and the instrumentation is a hypnotic and robust journey from a subtle, theatrical arrangement to an enticing buildup that carries the same untroubled spirit and brilliant timbres as the music of early Pink Floyd. “Someday I Will Find Out Who You Are” launches a sequence of soothing performance lovely transitions and catchy, heartfelt melodies that are topped with Trew’s flute work. There’s a vital British essence about the combination that makes it quite endearing too.
Trickier rhythms and an emphasis on structural changes make “She Has a Supernova” stand out, while “Whose Garden Was This?” ventures into a surprisingly different direction, with folk tones and a meditative, singer-songwriter atmosphere offering a philosophical vibe. Trew layers his vocals beautifully, adding a bit more emotion to the playing field. “Virgil” begins on a similarly quiet and reflective note but soon piles on the prog rock virtuosity and madness, with synths, frenzy drumming, and equally wild guitar work showcasing just how eccentric and ambitious they can be.
The disc ends with arguably its most emotional piece, “One of Your Kind.” A mournful yet smooth and classy introduction eventually dissolves into an acoustic guitar sculpture. From there, the psychedelic vibe comes back with a faint ominous vengeance, as well as slight touches of alternative rock.
All in all, Autumn Electric can be very proud of this album. It’s their most complex record out to date, and it proves that there are still artists that know how to pay tribute but retain originality. Highly recommended.