New Music: NAVVI - In Gold / Polychrome

Local Music, Album Reviews
Gerrit Feenstra

This week, Seattle electronic duo NAVVI returns with “In Gold”/”Polychrome”, the first new, original material we’ve seen from them since the II EP of last fall, and some of their strongest work yet. NAVVI introduced themselves to us only two short years ago with “Weekends”, and since that minimal, driving groove, the band has only grown more expansive in their sonic landscape and atmospheric approach. Swiftly following the one-off single for Kitsune “Speak”, II formed a first real milestone for the band, as through five songs, they really showed off the full dynamic of their diverse pop approach. With this week’s release, we can see that NAVVI only have more magic cooking, as they prep a full-length record and give us two songs to chew on in the meantime.

Contrary to the dense pop structures of songs like “Perfect Speed”, “In Gold” makes brilliant use of spacial tension to let a groove coast forward without any coaxing. The balance between Brad’s cool guitar hooks and Kristin’s painstakingly haunting vocals has never been more effortless. Kristin’s narrative of in-betweenness and striving for purification is relatable and memorable. The synth build never throws too much fuel on the fire - it’s as natural as can be.

In typical A/B NAVVI form, “Polychrome” gives us something else entirely. Right from the start, the build is driving and bombastic. It’s something you want to hear loud and vibrating through your skull. Here, Brad forsakes the guitars for a thick, amorphous electronic landscape that never seems to stop shifting and growing. As NAVVI continue to grow, their ability to dial into a mood, both sonically and lyrically, continues to get better and better. “Polychrome” is them doing this in top notch form. If this is a taste of what we’ll be getting with a full-length record, then I can hardly wait.

Grab “In Gold”/”Polychrome” at the band’s Bandcamp. You can catch NAVVI live opening for Say Hi and Telekinesis next week at Neumos on 11/7! You can also catch them at the Neumos Ryan Adams cover night on 12/9, with Cataldo, Silver Torches, Lena Simon of La Luz, Matt Bishop of Hey Marseilles, and Sister Girlfriend. We know they are pretty great at doing covers, so you won't want to miss either of these.

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