In a fog of acoustic guitars and a mischievous bottom-end tonality, we discover a vocal that is as light as a feather in “Other Side,” the closing finale in Biglemoi’s interestingPermanent Vacation EP. In my first examination of Permanent Vacation, this was the song that got my attention the most; it’s drifting melodies and swanky, muted groove are only a taste of what the record it sits on brings to the table, but together they happen to form one of the most intoxicating harmonies that I’ve had the pleasure of taking a look at in the last couple of months.
Where many of Biglemoi’s peers are embracing barebones minimalism in 2019, this band isn’t afraid of surreal excesses – take the title track in Permanent Vacation for example. Just like “Other Side,” it’s essentially a ballad that has been given an abstract stylization with glowing guitar parts that are more ambient than they are rock in design. The same can be said for “Sola,” but it’s worth pointing out that Biglemoi never use the same formula twice in this tracklist; every song here is an original, even if they do bear a synthetic likeness to one another.
The instrumentation in singles “Joyride” and “Decipher” tells us more about who these musicians are as a group than any of the lyrics in “Sola” or “Other Side” do. These tracks clarify their lyrical emotion with harmonies that are just as communicative, if not a dash more so when it counts the most (check out the chorus in “Joyride” to see what I mean). Biglemoi aren’t satisfied in stimulating one part of our brains in Permanent Vacation; they want to engage us completely with this material, and multilayered arrangements ensure that they’re able to do exactly what they set out to in songs like these.
This tracklist has a very progressive feel to it, with “Joyride” spilling into “Sola” seamlessly as though each of these songs were originally a part of a calculated studio medley. I can see a concept album in Biglemoi’s future if they were inclined to make something with that kind of artistic depth; they’ve got all the right pieces to construct a project of that sort without having to change the style of their music one iota, and with a bit more focus on the lyrical aspect of their work, they could make the modern rock opera that listeners have been collectively asking for in the 2010’s.
I was impressed with what I heard in Biglemoi’s eponymous debut extended play, which was released in 2015 (also via Bubble Bath Records), and thus had high expectations coming intoPermanent Vacation, but I’m happy to say that they were exceeded by what the band delivered in these five awesome new songs. They’ve found their sound, and more importantly, they would appear to be connecting with each other on a much deeper level than they were the first time they entered the studio together nearly a half-decade ago. Biglemoi is ready for bigger things, and I think that Permanent Vacation basically verifies their status as serious up and comers in their scene.