Umami – ‘Ephemeral’ (album stream) (Premiere)

With Ephemeral, the Minneapolis group Umami has concocted a mad scientist's stew of synth-pop, dance rock, and a smattering of other sounds.

Ephemeral is a fitting title for the new album by the Minneapolis outfit Umami. Although identifiable pop song structures are featured throughout the LP, the smorgasbord of sounds that Umami brings to the table constantly keep the listener on edge. One idea will suddenly give way to something else entirely without a moment’s notice, foregrounding a psychedelic, more free-form take on synth and electro-pop. Yet for all of the ephemeral moments throughout this Ephemeral LP, there’s a clear core to the songwriting. Contrast is one of the main constants that keeps the experimentation fresh throughout: see the juxtaposition of sharp buzzsaw synths and airy, reverb-laden vocals on “Living in a Nightmare”.

Vocalist Angelo Pennaccio says to PopMatters, “Ephemeral is about our connection to time. It is the result of annual trips to a secluded cabin in the woods to get lost in our own minds, and the years long departure and return of a band member struggling with drugs. This collection of songs describes a three year journey and transformative process. These are the fleeting moments and fading feelings we’ve experienced as our lives continue to pass us by.”

Ephemeral is out now via Totally Gross National Product.