Back in March, PopMatters premiered the tune “Small Fires”, taken from the Providence, Rhode Island instrumental outfit A Troop of Echoes’ new album, The Longest Year on Record. Well, the time has come for the full album to be released to the world, and as such, PopMatters is proud to present it in full streaming form.
Best classified as omnivorous instrumental music, The Longest Year on Record finds A Troop of Echoes carving their own impressions into distinct sonic niches. “Manifest and Legion” employs a guitar tone that is reminiscent of Mogwai at their moody best. Tunes like “Small Fires” and “Arecibo” represent unique spins on ‘90s indie rock. Gorgeous, soundtrack-like pieces such as “Kerosene” and “Pure Alexia (Is It Silent In This Room)” provide respite from the at times knotty instrumentation. Of the many unitive threads that runs throughout The Longest Year on Record, saxophone undoubtedly is the most distinctive. Even those not keen on jazz will find something to like in this band’s sharp use of the woodwind instrument.
The band explains to PopMatters, “We started writing The Longest Year on Record right after moving into a giant warehouse in South Providence. The high ceilings and open layout allowed the music to linger and take a different shape. We started pacing ourselves differently, and the songs expanded to fill the space. It made sense to record the album where it was written, so we spent a month immersing ourselves in the process. Alongside us were the friends who watched, pitched in their voices and instruments, and bummed us cigarettes and beer. We hope the album captures some of that collaborative spirit.”
The Longest Year on Record, which was in part funded following a successful Kickstarter campaign, is out on 19 May.