In 2013 CYMBALS had the underlying agitation in their dusted euphoria unearth itself in their sound. Then chunky and blusterly basses met with gilded melodies into a more restless, still beautiful skyline. Now “Winter '98” comes hard and fast like an unexpected blizzard on all those tropical comparisons.
A jovial chattering opens the song, with some repeating melancholic synth chords, draining any hope of two dimensional revelry with each two bar phrase, looping like a battered conscience. For those of us who don't speak the smooth French of the vocals, we look for emotional bearings in these elements, and it can be quite alienating. Who is this man speaking French at us? Why does he sound more cool than comforting? It's all so pleasant, yet it still pushes on our shoulders with the weight of a rave, marching us somewhere awful to the beat of a great pop song. Then the climax bursts, each bitter part brightened by a few distant guitar wails. It wins the battle against sadness and cynicism by recontextualizing those moments, and showing us the warmth buried underneath all that snow.
CYMBALS' The Age Of Fracture is out February 4th via Tough Love.