Much like the beloved sandwich cookie, I want to start with the beginning and the ending, before we delve into the rich and delicious, progressive hard rock center of Clairvoyant. This is the second album with the currant six piece line up from The Contortionist. Let us examine and appreciate every curve and nook. Clairvoyant is encased by “Monochrome(Passive)” and “Monochrome(Pensive).” These pieces use coordinating motifs to tie the album together without feeling redundant.
“Monochrome(Passive)” is anything but colorless or passive. This instrumental begins as a cacophony of disrupted sounds that give into intermixing of strong chords, impressive guitar runs, and beautiful keys. “Monochrome(Pensive) builds upon those themes created in the intro, and adds in Michael Lessard’s vocals. The lyrics subtly tie back into tracks like “Godspeed” and “Reimagined.”
“Reimagined” has already gained traction on YouTube with nearly a half million views since its release. “Once you found the breath you’d lost, breathe again.” The next nibble takes us to the title track “Clairvoyant.” Throughout the album, but certainly more profound now, are the odd changes in time and style. These changes work to create an effect, almost like layering separate songs, to create the distinct sound of The Contortionist.
“They have committed to never surrender to the path of least resistance, always challenging themselves and their audience. This is art for art’s sake.” Bio 2017
“Relapse” and “Return to Earth” are the perfect, delicious ending to the core of that metaphorical cookie. “Relapse” draws you in with a suspense filled intro that gives into wavering, soft vocals and gorgeous keys (Eric Guenther). Relapse and recovery are the prevalent line of thought for the track with a tie back to “Clairvoyant.” This promotes the listeners feelings of an interwoven dreamscape in and out of each track, creating cohesion amongst the album. “Return to Earth” is aptly named for its moments that feel otherworldly, only to transition into propulsive drums and vigorous strings.
However you choose to devour Clairvoyant, leave no crumb behind, and do so with an appreciation of artistry. I found The Contortionist to fit into the placebo-shaped space in my heart, while finding its own distinct spot to reside. Catch them at home in Indianapolis, or on tour with Between the Buried and Me. Grab Clairvoyant when it releases September 15th through eOne Music/ Good Fight Music.