I remember watching “Kyle XY,” about a boy who appeared out of nowhere. An interesting show, and not to get into it too much, I remember how Kyle always had a hard time adjusting to living in a house of people who took him in. But i was watching the show that I first stumbled across Thirteen Senses, which had a song featured on the show: “Home”. It was lyrically profound (“And they walk an open road. They’re miles from this town. They’re walking through the pain that brings you down. Now they’re coming home”), accompanied arrangements that surrounded a piano, sung with a soft, welcoming voice, which you feel is always there to comfort you. Over one year later, Thirteen Senses releases their third studio album, “Crystal Sounds” (31 January 2011 in the USA as digital download), featuring “Home.”
First off, the cover of “Crystal Sounds” caught my attention. As a huge comic fan, the moment I saw it, I thought to myself that this was an awesome cover; it’s as if it walked out of a late 60’s comic book with a little kid looking at something unknown. You can imagine him saying, “Mommy Look, a Space Ship!” It is full of wonder and fantasy; it is the perfect invitation to let go and seep into the album.
Thirteen Senses may be dream pop influenced, but “Crystal Sound” is not the archetypical dream pop album. There is some ethereal feel to music and the soft, near breathy, vocals fit, but the piano typically grounds the music. The best example of this “Animals.” The dreamy opening, with the effected guitar, has a wispy quality to it, but it gives away to a piano ballad as the song continues.
The lead single of the album is “The Loneliest Star.” If the worlds of 80s pop and dream pop were to collide, this would be the song. Dreamy, trippy, and fun – get ready to tap your feet or dance in your seat. “Answers” is definitely my favorite track. It starts off with the vocalist singing in his very melodic tone singing voice, and leads you on a sort of adventure about a girl: “It was already beginning to show curses from years ago. And the ocean is already parted. Will you take a walk? Walk with me now till we get to December?” The first two minutes of the song are a slow, but it’s a beautiful lull; soon the arrangements unfurl revealing a strong bass line and a repetitious guitar that sonically mirrors the narrative of the song. The two distinct part of the track just propels the emotions behind the lyrics.
“Crystal Sounds” demonstrate the great craftsmanship that Thirteen Senses brings to the table. This is a band that no one should just foolishly pass by. Give the album a good listen and be as mesmerized as I was when listening.
1. Crystal Sounds
2. The Loneliest Star
4. Imagine Life
7. After the Retreat
8. I Saw Stars Disappear
10. Out There
11. Send Myself to Sleep
13. In the Crowding
Keep up with Thirteen Senses at their homepage, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
Here is their video for “The Loneliest Star” from their YouTube Channel: ThirteenSensesTV.