Austin duo Deep Time (formerly Yellow Fever) return with their self-titled sophomore release. Fronted by Jennifer Moore on guitar and vocals, backed by Adam Jones on drums, Deep Time feel like the grandchildren of the wiry and restless post-punk age.
These songs aren’t about to sit still anytime soon; think of Television warming to a pop climate. Moore’s jazz influences are present in the way the songs wind themselves around multiple guitar riffs and strums. Jones does a fine job to keep his rhythms in line with the ever-entangled maze of vocal lines and guitars.
Moore drops in an organ on one of the standouts, the excellent Coleman, her vocal intonation reminiscent of Thao and the Get Down leader Thao Nguyen, but Deep Time’s sparse, minimal approach is their signature. Gilligan sways, while the beat twitches like a nervous disorder. It keeps even the strongest melodies on the edge, which in turn keeps Deep Time in a different class from many of their peers.
The lead single Clouds contains a run of Moore’s sharp observations, a relationship gone astray maybe: “Can’t you see you had it made, who can guess your heart anyway”. The song, like many others found here, is built from repeated refrains intercutting the verse, a bridge taking up the chorus. Yes, it’s structured, but not in the traditional sense.
Deep Time manage to stir in their influences, with the lightness of touch we’d expect from a jazz group, the angles from post-punk and the melodic awareness of any decent pop band. It throws out a curveball of a pop record that I can’t stop listening to.