Release Date: Jan 19, 2015
Record label: Full Time Hobby
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Sam Genders, formerly of folk experimentalists Tunng and now making indie-electronica as Diagrams, sees the world in ornate detail. His perspective is symbolised neatly in the artwork for his second album – a hand delving into the unknown depths of a rectangular prism – suggesting an introspection that goes beyond Chromatics’ surface theme of relationships. The music moves from musings about “spectral mist” and existential despair on Serpent (“Going to climb outside myself/ Burn my worries, leave my fears/ Evaporate and disappear”) to more earthbound woe and wonder on Brain (“Pigeons outside, eating the seeds that you threw/ I want to know, what did I do?”).
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Let's call it Gleadless Gothic. A dog park in the suburb of Sam Genders' new home of Sheffield gets a mention on 'Gentle Morning Song', but as a cipher for what; the songwriter's escape from the hustle-bustle of London to gentler Northern climes? Whatever the intention, the lovely song recalls 'Girl' from Beck's halfway house album Guero, and other, even more familiar notes abound on Diagrams' second full album.
If you’re relatively unknown in the world of music, a strong beginning is pretty much essential, and that’s exactly what Diagrams, aka Sam Genders, does on Chromatics, his second full-length LP. Opening track, Phantom Power, is a delight; wispy and melodic with a handful of electronic flickers to keep your attention. It’s simple but efficient, and there’s nothing obvious that could be done to improve it.