As summer nears, music like Cranfield’s dreamy psychedelic rock becomes more and more welcome to our ears. Their recent EP, Blue Painting, has all the lightness and warmth for evoking long days out in the sun.
The textures on Blue Painting are soft-edged, from lightweight synths to Lee Sang Hyeok’s high, pure voice. The melodies are similar in nature: smooth, short, and cyclical. They aren’t rushing to get anywhere, so you can really rest your ears inside of them.
The EP’s guitar lines are just as lyrical and alive as the vocal lines. There is a variety of guitar timbres on the album – some are more rough and distorted, while others are more balmy or hazy.
I do wish that Cranfield were a little bit less comfortable in their sound and would try venturing into slightly new harmonic and textural territories to keep things fresh. A nice example is at the end of “Cobalt” when the all the noise drops out and we are left to a few savory textures. The contrast in dynamics and texture really made me stop and enjoy the section. But when so much of the music is the same, some of that spark gets lost.
This doesn’t take away from the fact that Blue Painting is a lovely little album, and is an excellent companion for the warmth of early summer. In the future, however, I hope to see Cranfield dig beneath the surface of their music to bring forth something that is a little more memorable.