Ever so gently, a guitar paints a silent canvas with iridescent colors that will bleed into the vocal track in “Your Friends,” the closing number in Kingdom of Birds’ brand new EP, Glitz. They harmonize in a heavenly marriage of melodies, and as we allow them to carry us away in their ethereal glow, a mischievous drum pattern enters the fold and interrupts the even flow of the song with a gritty texture that we’ll find in “Waiting” as well. “Your Friends” is built around its juxtapositions, but “Waiting” drones with a much more pointed rhythm that rattles more than it swings. The delicate serenade from our lead singer is wrapped inside layers of controlled explosions, and though it’s awash with unneeded varnish, it still humanizes the abstract lyrics enough to make them resonate with listeners.
“Unknown” gets started in a tizzy of fuzz, and slowly but surely, finds a punky groove to get us out of our seats and spinning to the sway of the drums. Unlike “Waiting,” the otherwise basic structure of the beats in this song don’t descend into formulaic complacency halfway through the track. The tension just keeps getting more and more powerful until we crash head-first into the midway point of the song and make our acquaintance with its cathartic center. It’s not as multifaceted as shoegaze, but there’s something positive to be said about the ambient elements in Glitz, which in my opinion were absent from previous releases by Kingdom of Birds.
“Goodbye” is the lone loose-groove ballad on the Glitz tracklist, and though it isn’t nearly as brute a force as “Unknown” or “Your Friends” is, it doesn’t sound like feebleminded filler to me in the least. “Dotted Lines” is the most extreme of all the experimentations that we get to know in this record, and while it gets Kingdom of Birds’ latest studio work started off on a high note, I don’t think that i’s minimalist melodies represent the sonic suffocation that some of the other tracks boast so proudly. In summary, Glitz mostly lives up to its name, and gives listeners who didn’t know much about Kingdom of Birds a reason to come back for more.