Over the past ten years, Triptides has been remarkably consistent in their sound. Their new album, Alter Echoes, continues that trend but punctuates the album with interesting variations. Based out of Los Angeles, Triptides feels like summer in every sense of the word. With a combination of electric guitars, banging drums, and echoey vocals, the band engages in an indie psychedelic sound that is simultaneously laid back and intense.
Whether a track is more one or the other depends mostly on Glenn Brigman’s vocals. Serving also as the band’s keyboardist (which go through unique variations of their own), Brigman cycles through a selection of vocal settings to pick the one that matches each track. “Do You Ever Wonder” for example, features an echoey vocal that gives a spacious, weightless feeling to the track. Meanwhile “Let It Go” has a syncopated delivery that aligns perfectly with the punchy drums driving the track. Nor is Brigman afraid to let his voice sound a little ugly: “Hand of Time” has him constantly peaking. However, instead of sounding awful, this strain actually fits with the instrumentation and the raw feeling of the track.
Throughout the album, we observe that collaboration between the instruments and the vocals. When “Elemental Chemistry” explodes with a wailing guitar, Brigman responds by stretching out his syllables and accenting particular words. This adds to the funkiness of the track and provides some excellent contrast with the falsetto leanings of the verses. “She Doesn’t Want to Know” highlights the band’s range in this ability by attempting a sweet, 50’s-style love song. Once again, though, Brigman is able to adapt, softening his voice and repeatedly pulling back in order to let the instruments and stellar percussion take the lead.
The final element added to the mix are the lyrics. Although simple, the unique word choices and rhyming patterns add a poetic layer of complexity. Especially notable are Triptides’ repeated use of internal rhymes. On “Another Dream,” something like “Wondering where you’re going, never knowing what you see” sounds so good and fun it just makes you smile. But Brigman also plays with this technique, like on “Hand of Time.” With this track “So it only goes to show/ It’s not too late to celebrate believing” comes at you hard and fast and jolts you with each word.
Thus, the combination of lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation blends together to create a nice, tight album. Additionally, the sunny and sizzly aesthetic make the album just enjoyable to listen to. Nothing on here will jump out and grab you on your first listen through, but give it some time and it may start to grow on you.
Fav Songs: Elemental Chemistry, Hand of Time, Moonlight Reflection, Maybe Having a Laugh, maybe She Doesn’t Want to Know, Now and Then
Image taken from allmusic.com