The Lovely Intangibles deliver haunting beauty on their first album, Tomorrow Is Never.
New York City-based the Lovely Intangibles is a side-project featuring members of the long-running indie band the Lost Patrol (Stephen Masucci, Tony Mann and Michael Williams) and former Dotsun Moon vocalist Mary Ognibene. Tomorrow Is Never is the first album for the newly configured group, and it’s a work of majestic beauty made for late nights and quiet contemplation.
Fans of the Lost Patrol will not be disappointed in the cinematic soundscapes created for Tomorrow Is Never. Opening track “No Amends” is lush and otherworldly, with reverb-drenched guitar and melancholy keyboard. The production is note-perfect, especially in its treatment of Ognibene’s sometimes double-tracked vocals. Her voice is mixed right down the middle of the spectrum so that it rides the waves of sound just like another instrument rather than being too obtrusive and obscuring the beauty beneath.
“The Dust Settles Down” features wonderfully ghostly lines of guitar over an shadowy rock vibe. “Tell Me When” is like an ominous dream shrouded in veils of hypnotic guitar and keyboard. Renaissance bassist Jon Camp guests on “It’s Just Like You”, and he adds a lyrical bass line to to the lilting melody sung beautifully by Ognibene. A definite highlight is the title-track, an echo-drenched beauty with acoustic guitar adorned by languid swirls of electric and subtle rolls of timpani. “Will You Surrender” has an almost off-kilter surf-rock guitar sound, with smokey keyboards and a mysterious atmosphere.
Perhaps the strongest track is “Divine”, a driving noir-rocker that sounds like something you’d find on the soundtrack of a Quentin Tarantino movie, possibly Kill Bill III as Uma Thurman is driving through some stark desert landscape in a convertible, gun-case rattling in the back seat, and her radio blasting this song. “Divine” has that air of anxiety and unease, that something is about to happen and it might make you cover your eyes.
“Relapse” closes the album with a wash of synths and Mary Ognibene’s gorgeous voice taking center stage. Fans of the Lost Patrol should purchase Tomorrow Is Never immediately, but its appeal goes far beyond that. If you want to know what a hybrid of Mazzy Star and Portishead might sound like if they were trapped in a late-night art cinema, then take the time to track down the debut release by the Lovely Intangibles. It’s wrapped in fog and mystery, beautiful but with the sense that secrets too harrowing to know are buried just under the surface.