[sic] Magazine

IE – Pome

Back after two tapes of minimal drones on the MJMJ and Shinkoyo labels, Minneapolis five-piece IE (pronounced “eeeee” as the press-release helpfully clarifies) have a leisurely new album in tow and it has a pretty unique backstory. Last year, drummer Meredith Gill’s unreliable handyman sought forgiveness for some overdue work by presenting her with an 8-person hot tub … as you do. The rest of the IE gang were nonetheless impressed enough to fire it up and start unwinding in its waters after band practice. And, it’s present transparent, Pome’s hallucinogenic 40+ minutes were influenced by the experience.

Starting with the pure meditation of “Amulet”, shimmering drones dance on the rippling crests of some float pod, immersive hypnosis gently developing into vaguely krautish percussive and synth repeats that prevent the track’s subtle drift from evaporating entirely. Bassist and singer Crystal Myslajek’s mysterious vocals, when they arrive, are reassuring as they sashay forth from vapour clouds. Experimental electronic fizz punctuates suffocating drones from here on in until you zone out completely. Pulsing in and out of the minimal trance, it’s difficult to know how long you’ve been listening. Maybe a few minutes; maybe a week. Coalescing out of the mists of time then comes the grooving “Moon Shot”, Pome’s most fully formed song. Dark, hand-drummed rumbles roll in like thunder alongside a pretty key melody courtesy of Travis Workman, cymbal shimmer, a soft-focus vocal and multi-instrumentalist Mariel Oliveira’s sax echoes follow, flirting with dreamy exotica.

On the instrumental flip, feedback clouds the introduction of guitar. Squealing around a gloomy solo on “Idol Horizon”, an insistent rhythm bubbles just beneath the surface, 60s psych organ opening Doors to other dimensions, counterpoint electro chatter and blasts of noise as soothingly sci-fi as they are punishingly prominent. Now firmly heading out west, the ambient odyssey “Gloam” travels aboard the groaning timbers of some lonely galleon, twinkling stars and a spoken-word catching the midnight breeze and blowing in from the horizon. Never less than interesting and sporadically deeply rewarding, perhaps hot-tubs can be more than just mucky sex ponds. Dreamers, you may not be the only one.

Best track: “Moon Shot”

~Pome is out now via Moon Glyph.~