The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

REVIEW: Frog Eyes – ‘Violet Psalms’ (Paper Bag Records)

  • 7/10
    - 7/10


Frog Eyes’ eighth and final album ‘Violet Psalms’ feels suitably like the culmination of a career’s work.

Always in sight but forever wandering across our peripheral vision, Frog Eyes have never been exactly star material, but a fine example of reliable yet criminally underrated quality. Following the sad news of the band’s imminent split, the arrival of what is promised to be the Canadian collective’s final album has perhaps placed Frog Eyes in the clearest view since their inception way back in 2002. Maybe it was all part of the plan, because their eighth album Violet Psalms feels like they were saving best until last.

Submerged under the nautical depth of its arrangements, Violet Psalms is a composition of intricacy, colour and top-tier production. Carey Mercer’s lucid and dramatized vocal delivery is at times reminiscent of David Bowie’s Blackstar – a fitting project to channel when dealing with the concept of finality. Each track feels like it’s lying on a canvas backdrop with a different scene to enhance the opaque quality of the sound. Tracks like ‘On A Finely Sewn Sleeve’ and ‘Sleek As The Day Is Done’ exude powerful emotive magnitude whereas lead single ‘Idea Man’ carries just enough pop sensibilities to be universally acclaimed. It’s Frog Eyes’ consistently quirky characteristics that leave it sonically imprinted in your mind.

Removing the knowledge of the Violet Psalms’ finality, there’s a real sense of resonance and opportunity. Where so many will have felt restricted, Frog Eyes have managed to excavate some of their best qualities and join them to new, expansive ideas. Maybe we never knew them well enough, but we’ll miss them now they’re gone. (7/10) (Ollie Rankine)

Listen to Violet Psalms by Frog Eyes here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!

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