The Double

There is a foreboding sense of everything coming apart at the seams in The Double’s subversive take on pop music. Their Matador debut, 'Loose in the Air,' is an eerie, paranoid album steeped in a hyper-awareness of the impermanence of things. Melody moves through thick layers of noisy, manic guitars and heavily distorted keyboards, and drums fight through a dense fog of melancholy. Tender vocals soar high and low through an atmosphere of chaos – it’s at once unsettling and utterly captivating.

The men of The Double are completely tuned into their own frequencies, seemingly unaffected by current trends. As a result, they have quickly attracted a loyal following that craves the Double’s brand of sonic experimentation and innovation. Last year’s 'Palm Fronds' (Catsup Plate) is a rock-pop album in the same way that David Lynch’s 'Mulholland Drive' is a romantic comedy. Still, in addition to charming critics, 'Palm Fronds' earned the Double a coveted Peel Session, as well as opening slots for Interpol and Blonde Redhead in Europe.

For 'Loose in the Air,' the band escaped New York and holed up with Steve Revitte for 12 days at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Having recorded everyone from The Liars and Tito Puente to the Beastie Boys and Black Dice, Revitte embraced The Double’s idiosyncrasies and captured their broad instrumental scope. The result is 10 songs that burst with frantic energy and reach sublime transcendence.

“Up All Night” opens the record as a sort of manifest, the blueprint for what’s to come. David says, “I found the melody singing along to instrumental dub tracks; I was reaching for Yoko Ono’s minor notes.” “In The Fog” was originally written and recorded during their Peel Session last year. Jacob arranged the instrumentation on piano in the studio, and inspired by the history of their surroundings, they set out to write a “classic” and re-recorded it at Tarquin for 'Loose In The Air.' The epic “Dance” was written to accompany a fashion show and debuted last spring at Lincoln Center. In it, David talks about the performance and exhaustion of dancing – “hulled out of breath, all loose at the ends, so bodied to ourselves in the head”.

Of “Hot Air”, Jacob says “I hope Ray Manzarek hears this and shits peyote out of his mouth. Vox Continental organ and piano, just like the Zombies, but maybe a more grotesque, undead Rod Argent.” “Busty Beasty” is a stoner lullaby of sorts, Jacob rocking those ethereal E Naturals in the cascading G Major-to-Minor section like a street fair magician, and Donald his sick, beautiful maiden. Elsewhere, the Double even lay down their version of a radio hit in “Idiocy” and a love song – the “dorm room make-out anthem”, says Jacob – in “Ripe Fruit”.

The Double cite influences as diverse as Syd Barrett, Alice Coltrane, the Beatles, Horace Andy, the Zombies, Suicide, Brian Eno, Keith Hudson, and the Velvet Underground, and though the spirit of these bands is present in The Double’s music, their sounds are not. Loose in the Air is a unique work that is beyond comparison. It’s a mature album as viscerally satisfying as it is intellectually stimulating. It sounds like a premonition – a bone ache, before a big storm.

David Greenhill - bass and vocals
Jacob Morris - keyboards
Jeff McLeod - drums and electronics
Donald Beaman - guitar and vocals

"The varied swath of music categorized as noise tends to bank on its ties to the sublime: the ability to induce bewilderment, stupefaction, and awe that traverses fear. But for the Brooklyn-based foursome The Double, noise-metallic clacks and supersonic crackles, crumpling guitars and disappearing vocals-is an accessory that sweetly disorders melody, a union that entreats and welcomes rather than confuses and commandeers."
-- Village Voice
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