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(Syjip; US: 28 Jul 2009; UK: 28 Jul 2009)

The space between the Here and There in the title of ILAD’s new album is apparently a vast expanse. Over the course of the album, the band strives to fill every inch of that vast ground with spacey atmosphere and hushed but thickly textured songs. With all the room to move around, ILAD takes its sound in a surprising number of directions. Witness the sinister, jazzy shuffle of “I’m Not Mean” right alongside the warmer, softer feel of “I Just Stopped By”. The band is at its best when those opposite textures collide—the way they do beautifully in the epic “Mexico”. The track starts in a pastoral haze but eventually crumbles into cool, pixilated atmosphere. Throughout, ILAD is unafraid to stretch out and experiment, but under all that you can still hear that riff, that vocal melody, that one piece that reminds us these are tightly constructed songs. The album as a whole may run a bit long, but it’s rare, even with all the terrain covered, that you ever get really lost between Here and There.


Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.

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