Throughout the years that Jillian Medford has had the group IAN SWEET, her music has shifted from bedroom pop to hushed indie rock driven pop. The growth of the project has experienced plenty of pains in the process, but the overall result was a bit all over the map. Until now of course with her new offering Show Me How You Disappear. The third album in the arsenal hits and hits big with Medford reaching out in new ways and connecting through the music.
The emotions that swell throughout these songs cannot be unheard. The handpicked producers to fit each song’s sound comes clear through how each song is displayed. Opening with the inflated sound of “My Favorite Cloud,” the song is mixed in a way where the vocals sound like they’re on the same level as the music. The slower chaos in this way takes on a new way for you to hear things. Like a dream world that Medford creates, the vocals alone are presented in a way that isn’t as decisive as they are engaging. Where “Drink the Lake” has this electronic based backing, there’s a weight here that is buried in the lyrics. The music is engaging and full of pop touches without feeling like the happy go lucky pop that exists in the world. Here Medford slowly drives the song between melodic touches and dual vocals that pull you in.
The dreamy dew that falls upon a song like “Dirt” seeps into your head, slower and more definitive in its delivery. The catchy beat along the electro-pop notes lets the words flow easier into your ears. The dream dissonance in how “Dumb Driver” is orchestrated lets the sprinkles of tone build up to a melodic delivery system that pulls your attention from the jump. There’s a quality over quantity to these songs that exists. The arranged movements flow together in a meaningful way without stepping on their respective spaces while the build is where the magic lies. But between the soft spaces of “Get Better” and the tender sway of “I See Everything” the album holds a sound that feels personal without being overly so. The intermingled emotions that flow between the lyrics and how the songs are written creates a space that’s equally inviting and engaging. Of the ten tracks our favorite comes on “Power.” The way Medford blends emotive and tender words with a quiet buildup is masterfully done. When the song swathes itself in emotion it draws you in. When it explodes it does so in a way that’s warranted and reactionary. It works on multiple levels where the loud quiet loud structure pays off between the emotionally charged music.
Show Me How You Disappear is available to purchase in various formats and bundles directly from Polyvinyl Records. It’s also available in all digital outlets or it can be streamed wherever you stream music. IAN SWEET is set to perform via livestream on March 26 and 27 from Lodge Room on Audiotree.
Image Credits: Photo by Lucy Sandler.