Last time we heard from Candy Claws, 2010’s Hidden Lands, the band showcased a soft, dreamy, layered style that was easy (and often quite pleasant) to just get lost in, letting it carry you off to its titular lands. Their newest song, “Transitional Bird (Clever Girl)”, from Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time, due out June 25th, retains the same layers and a measure of the dreaminess of Hidden Lands, while sounding a good deal more propulsive and energetic. Instrumental and vocal hooks are also much more clearly audible, and the bite of shoegaze guitars buzzes through the candy-colored haze.
Drumming also plays a much more important role this time around, and the percussion drops dramatically in and out, most effectively on the chorus, where the drums pull out for the opening syllables of the words “transitional bird”, only to slam down soon after in massive slow motion. Hearing such smart use of dynamics in a Candy Claws song is genuinely exciting, as is the solo section that starts around 2:35. The languid drift of Hidden Lands made its predecessor In the Dream of the Sea Life sound uptempo and accessible in comparison. So, a Candy Claws song that actually fits those descriptors while keeping the band’s signature mystery and wonder intact? That’s something worth paying attention to.