[sic] Magazine

Exitmusic – Passage

Despite the addition of a new fulltime drummer, New York’s Exitmusic predominantly remain the husband-and-wife duo of Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church . The pair’s fine debut EP landed earlier this year – an ear-catching and epiphanic collection of post-rock and chilly electronic pop that hailed from the same inviting Arctic circle as Mew , The Deer Tracks and The Radio Dept .

Whilst rooted in the same sound, the long-playing follow-up Passage is little short of a revelation all the same. For example, the title track’s patience is commendable as it builds into an arms-wide collision of smothering proportions, ebbing and flowing between the crushing and the delicately elemental. Concentrated explosions of post-rock noise further increase the urgency and scope throughout. The wonderfully whispery piano drift of “The Wanting” is very Sigur Rós if the band were to have just taken crash courses in naturalistic drone and battle soundscaping. Quite simply, the BBC sound team would seem to have a new soundtrack to their nature documentaries.

Palladino is a woman reborn too. Her trembling intensity swings wildly from an atmospheric mew to a frantic roar on “Stars” – itself an impressive track that graunches like warring glaciers. She’s more than a contributing factor in the anthemic “White Noise” as well. Housing a dark-hearted energy similar to that of Austra , the crumpled beat and glorious flashes of ear-filling fizz are entirely appropriate for a track of such a name.

Team Exitmusic haven’t forgotten the power of blissful melody however as the elfin beauty of “The Night” confirms. Full of Palladino’s serene sighing and twinkling guitars it’s hard to shake the image of some dreamy Beach House gig performed in the midst of an ice floe. Roped in and reworked from the earlier From Silence EP, “The Modern Age” too is an ever-intensifying and epic pop blast reliant on loud-quiet-loud structures, a driving beat and simmering melody.

There seems to be little in the way of critical groundswell beneath Exitmusic with most people’s focus currently on the Beach House album Bloom , but come the list season it’d be disappointing to see too many places between Passage and it. Palladino and Church should rightly feel proud of their achievements here in either case as Passage more than deserves a share of the spotlight.

Advised downloads: “Passage” and “The Night”.

~Passage is released the 21st May 2012 on Secretly Canadian .~

[sic] review – From Silence EP

Exitmusic @ myspace

Exitmusic @ bandcamp