Stuck in November - First Visit to Camp Telepathy
A good majority of Bandcamp records tuck little worlds into shoeboxes, populating their cardboard confines with Easter basket grass and suburban tudors carved from individual-sized cereal boxes. Their songs barely graze the two-minute threshold, wrapping around your neck like a scarf with lo-fi static cling.
Stuck in November aren't satisfied building mere dioramas. They look up and out of the much larger box they've been placed in by giant hands, peeking over the edge into a world beyond theirs: a Felix-the-Cat-shaped clock ticks on the wall across from whatever desk or nightstand the Bangalore-based math-rock trio is trapped atop. Squat, autumnal-colored coffee mugs await their use in a glass cabinet beside it, and there's an ever-present rustle of windchimes that ride in on October drafts, often accompanied by the nimble guitaristry of a tenant practicing in another room.
My extended metaphor aside, Stuck in November's mostly-acoustic sophomore EP really does sound like a topographic or atmospheric view that's too vast to take in. I mean, just look at the cover art: it reminds me of those Dorling-Kindersley reference books filled with overhead maps of Star Wars locales, or maybe the poster tri-folded into a video game strategy guide. You can't help but try to project yourself onto the page, or in this case, into the music.
Averaging at about 5 minutes each, the four instrumental songs that add up to First Visit to Camp Telepathy are landscapes. as conversely chaotic and ordered as nature itself. Ultra-technical guitar riffs sprout from the thicket, no two alike. Music boxes swell up like lens flares and accordion trills wobble with Wes Anderson's preciosity. Drums crunch like twigs underfoot. You'll spot familiar timbres, but won't hear them played the same way twice--their shading's tweaked by the Sun's angle, presenting Stuck in November's arrangements as blinding reflections in the bursting optimism of opener "PSJS" and sleepy dusk shadows on closer "Monster".
Ambitious as First Visit to Camp Telepathy may be, it's not quite an adventure. It's instead a normal day spent in a magical, very abnormal. universe. No matter how strange the ramshackle harmonies that compose the record are, the EP is inviting from start to finish: it's something to come back to when you're feeling as small as the contents of a shoebox.