SXSW Preview: Cymbals

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Cymbals have been one of my favorite bands since their 2011 debut, “Unlearn. I’ve probably listened to that record from start to finish more than any other album of the last couple of years. (Check out “Totally Over“)

I always wished that “Unlearn” had gotten more attention upon its release, but when that didn’t seem to happen I contented myself with the notion that the album would just be my little secret (that I shared with my friends and the audience over the air), knowing that the band and the album would eventually get their due as people slowly discovered the work in future years.

With the release of the London-based four piece’s most recent album, The Age Of Fracture”, it’s starting to look like the word is finally getting out on Cymbals. A lot of the the rougher edges have been smoothed out since “Unlearn, but most of the things that I fell in love with on their debut are still there and it’s my favorite album of the year so far.

I’ve seen their music variously described as synth pop, art rock, post punk, dance rock, indie pop — and all of those descriptors are fitting, but there’s a feeling to their records that is uniquely their own; there’s a sense of joy and enthusiasm in their music that sounds like a group of guys who genuinely like hanging out and playing music together. It’s an energy that permeates their recordings and makes for a fun listen.

Singer Jack Cleverly’s vocal delivery isn’t always for everyone, but the depth and emotional honesty of his writing is what really separates Cymbals from their contemporaries.

Cymbals will be making their US debut at SXSW this year, and upon learning that news I seriously considered heading down to Austin to finally see them live. I ultimately decided against making the trek, but if you’re heading down there check them out for me.