New Audio: The Gorgeous and Swooning Sound of Los Angeles’ Line and Circle

Comprised of Brian J. Cohen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Eric Neujahr (guitar), Jon Engelhard (bass guitar), Brian Egan (keyboards) and Nick Cisik (drums), the Los Angeles-based quintet Line and Circle originally formed in Ohio. The quintet received national attention with the release of their critically applauded first batch of singles and their debut EP.

Building on the buzz that they’ve already received, the quintet recorded their debut full-length album Split Figure live to tape in Los Angeles with producer, Lewis Pesacov, who’s known for his work on Best Coast‘s Crazy For You  and in Philadelphia with producers Jonathan Low, known for his work with The National and Brian McTear, known for working with The War on Drugs, who mixed the album. Thematically, the album reportedly explores “the elusive and daunting task of pursuing self-knowledge in a world, where ironically staring into screens and photographing ourselves incessantly has failed to make the process any easier” while sonically pairing those themes with a music that the band has described as “instantaneous and propulsive.” As the band’s frontman explains, “We are all split down the middle. There is an inner self that reflects what we think are, and an outer self that is how others really perceive us. True self-knowledge is when you become aware of each, and begin to reconcile both into one.” Certainly, such self-awareness and self-knowledge is particularly difficult even in less modern times.

Sonically, as you’ll hear on Split Figure‘s first single “Like A Statue,” the sound draws from early R.E.M. (in particular, think of albums like Murmur, Eponymous and others), The Smiths and the 4AD Records 80s roster, as shimmering guitars are played through reverb and paired with a tight rhythm led by four-on-the-floor like drumming and plaintive, earnestly sung lyrics. As a child of the 80s, it sounds warmly familiar and yet absolutely contemporary thanks in part to its moody and swooning Romanticism.