I'm in Seoul, currently experiencing one of the coldest winters in recent memory. As I hide under my blankets and watch the snow swirl against the windows, I find myself gravitating towards all sorts of music--warm and sunny songs are comforting, but there's a dark appeal to tapping into stormier feelings, too. No wonder Snowflake has been on my playlist for a while: split the difference between Mogwai and Grizzly Bear and you still wouldn't come close to describing the New York art-rockers, who just released debut album We All Grow Towards The Sea this week. The band handles brooding melodies and textures with a surprisingly deft hand, producing songs as impressive as anything Mother Nature can conjure in scope and sound while showing off unexpected dynamic range, colorful instrumentation, and razor-sharp hooks. While every song, from the eerie piano ballad "Initials" to the spunky and powerful "Black Stars," is outstanding, if you only listen to one song, make it "Hurricane." Project leader D. James Goodwin doesn't so much ride over the song as sink into it with his hypnotic, drawling voice; meanwhile, the electronics, guitar and drum sink into the background before exploding two verses in, tearing the fabric of the song apart in a destructive display both visceral and beautiful. Throughout its debut, Snowflake suggests that perhaps this destruction is a good thing, that something better will grow in place of what the blizzards blow away.
Stream We All Grow Towards The Sea below (make yourself a good blanket fort before listening if you so desire), and find more on Snowflake at the band's Facebook.