Tiny Mix Tapes
: Is this the same Nihiti that has put out a few full-lengths of busy, beat-munching, dare-I-say skittering experimental/electronics-tinged bliss? Faced With Splendor is all-acoustic, all-mellow, all the time, replete with trumpet toots, string swishes, and mini-jangles that couldn’t be more different than what I’ve heard of their long-players.
Maybe this is Nihiti’s Jar of Flies/Sap? Rest assured: The water is warm. Strums over drums, to start, and I don’t miss ‘em a bit in this case, as they could easily muck up what turn out to be decent arrangements when laid bare. The aforementioned strings swoop in/out, as is the wont with most folk-related projects you hear these days. At times, they are a bit upfront for how superfluous they are; you could prune them from a few of these tunes with little, if any, consequence. No denying these melodies, and the mood is grim but not played to the hilt, which was a good choice. If all Nihiti’s albums sounded like Faced with Splendor, there would be the all-too-familiar risk of a polite, “No, thanks!” but seeing as this was a slight detour, it sort of sweetens the pot a little to know they can turn their backs on their “sound” for a bit and keep it together.
Tiny Mix Tapes
: This is record number two from NYC electro synth-wave downer poppers Nihiti, who as we mentioned in our review of their first record, are infamous for their tripped out light heavy live shows, and who traffic in a sound equal parts witch house, big beat electronica and home brewed electronic experimentalism, which is what we were expecting from this new ep, but in fact, the band have offered up something totally different, and in fact, totally acoustic.
No electronics, no beats, no glitches or buzzes, instead, it’s all acoustic guitars, strings, even trombones, and vocals, real songs, darkly folky and at times sort of psychedelic, definitely poppy, and in a way, they almost sound like the more song based tracks from the first Nihiti record, arranged for acoustic guitar and violin. Almost.
So fans of that first records, it’s not a lock that this will be your cup of tea too, but it is pretty great, folky, but still a bit gloomy, the vocals are fantastic, lush intricate harmonies, slipping from croon to falsetto and back again, dark and dramatic, moody and moving, a little seventies British acid folk, a little bit modern psych folk, the strings soar and sing, adding tension and drama, the vocals and guitar often playing off each other, the B side gets a little bit waltzy for a track, the violin so mournful and melancholy, sounding very gypsy-ish, but it quickly returns to something more psychedelic strum. Cool stuff and a nice surprise for sure. Guardedly recommended for fans of the first record, but heck, we dug that and we’re digging this too.
: Brooklyn-based project Nihiti returns with this brief EP of songs seeing a largely electronic-rock band in an acoustic context.
What might first come off like a batch of demos or bedroom playthroughs of incomplete songs, actually ends up being a no frills stage to let Nihiti’s normally dense, synthetic songs fully breathe. Recorded with TJ Lipple from Aloha, the sparse arrangements are quite warm, bright, and fully formed. While these songs may have appeared elsewhere surrounded by a flourish of electronic dynamics, there’s a definite craft and care in these songs. “Pinko Morning” in particular engages a steadily rising swarm of urgent strings and shoebox percussion. The standout track seems perfect in its gloomy glory, with modest horn and stringed accompaniments that bolster rather than bloat.
“The Kind of Ropes,” a song reworked from “The Return of Kind Ropes” from the band’s Other People’s Memories LP, wipes away its predecessor’s pummeling shuffle of percussion and piano punches, making way for an almost Elliott Smith-like acoustic drama. The tune is unnerving and mopey, but completely genuine. Nihiti’s pop sensibilities are on full display in “The Devil,” a sunny downer that juxtaposes warm vocal harmonies with irresolute lyrics and a melancholy melody. B-side opener “Golden Pavilion” slowly sways in a late hours waltz with only a scant amount of sound manipulation in the form of piano sound/time effects. It’s a brief glimpse back to the band’s electronic work.
Killed in Cars
: Nihiti’s Faced With Splendor 12” EP shows a very different side of the band.
Songs, instead of atmospheres, dominate this music, and the orchestration is mostly acoustic, compared to the heavy electronic leanings of “Other People’s Memories. ”
This is a melancholy pop effort with folk leanings—not usually my favorite kind of music, but it’s very well performed and recorded, and the arrangements are very thoughtful. Generally it’s very sparse compared to the previous album, but with great harmonies and instrumental countermelodies in perfect places to bring out the best in the songs.
The simple precision behind these songs makes me think that this record is a totally different aspect of Nihiti’s stylistic range, rather than suggesting that their previous work was a case of psyche/kraut/electronic deconstruction techniques applied to more basic pop songs. In other words, tossing some noisemaking devices at these songs won’t make them into electronic-style Nihiti—they stand in their own unique way. But fans of the approach on the first full-length will be excited to know that the upcoming Nihiti release, “For Ostland,” promises a return to the more expansive attack of “Other People’s Memories. ”.
Urban Outfitters Music Mondays
: The latest artists to land on the Brooklyn-via-Berlin Lo Bit Landscapes imprint is the New York based outfit, nihiti, returning with their new EP, 'Faced With Splendour' - produced by TJ Lipple of Aloha.
A fairly surprising departure from their past psychedelic sound, the new EP presents an introduction of more acoustic elements, revealing nihiti's hidden expertise in simple songwriting. The release will be followed by a new full length LP due out in Spring 2012, which will see a return to their full electronic set up as they tour Europe and The US. Interview followed….