Album Review: Semicircle “Blown Breeze, Grown Grass and We Are Part of the Earth”


Semicircle Blown Breeze, Grown Grass and We Are Part of the Earth

Rating: 3.8/5

If the Velvet Underground could procreate with New Order, and their offspring was raised by The Pixies, chances are it would sound something like Semicircle’s debut album. Blown Breeze, Grown Grass and We Are Part of the Earth is more than just a mouth full – it is a sonic pallet that expands beyond the limitations of conventional songwriting.

This is some pretty hipster shit, but the good kind. Andrew McFarland and gang have trekked into the realm of introspection with little to no guidance – fumbling in the dark, hand on the wall. As luck would have it, everything falls into place, breathing a sort of organic synergy into what’s become a mostly formulaic industry. The opening track “Southern Spring” serves as a prologue for what’s to come, establishing the soon-to-be all-too-prevalent themes of nostalgia and self-reflection. The following track “Mechanism of Erasure” sets the momentum for the rest of the album perfectly: A brooding yet groovy rhythm accompanied by a perpetually descending bass line, falling like a feather gently into the listener’s subconscious; all the while McFarland moans his musings as if they were a desperate plea for recognition.

The remaining eight tracks follow the remember-reflect-romp model to great effect, occasionally throwing in a monkey wrench (brass instruments, dueling vocals, etc.) to keep things interesting. The album’s impressive dynamic remains true to its core, straying little from what gives Blown Breeze its signature sound while still providing a satisfying amount of variety. The mellow ballad “Easier” juxtaposes the garage rock tendencies of “Remember Me,” yet both are immediately recognizable as Semicircle songs. The band has come a long way from its improvisational roots, but this is just the beginning. Their sound is young, and the possibilities are as unpredictable as they are exciting. Whatever the future may hold, Blown Breeze has set Semicircle off to a superb start. With movement this calm, you’ll easily find yourself lost in another song.

-Luke Amick


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