Recently, Chris Stewart, like many other folks over the past few years who have either seen the writing on the wall, the sand, or the trend pieces in major newspapers, made the move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. It’s Immaterial doesn’t make any seismic adjustments to Black Marble’s era-faithful synthwave which arrived fully formed on the debut Weight Against the Door EP and full length A Different Arrangement, but you can feel the warm California sun — or at least the idea of it and the possibilities that it represents — poking through the bedroom blinds.
It’s Immaterial has an apprehensive relationship with optimism. Stewart wrote the album’s lead track, the static pogoing “Iron Lung”, after spending two weeks in the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia, and has talked about the feelings of ‘psychic turmoil’ and dissatisfaction that fueled the record. If it came from a difficult head space, it arrives at a more inviting one. Without crossing too far over Black Marble’s own tastefully stark lines, It’s Immaterial allows a little more endearing color and candor. The occasional nod to nostalgia — like the Yes-citing lyric “You’re the owner of a lonely heart” in “Self Guided Tours” — aside, Black Marble seem as much concerned with finding a way forward as they’ve ever been with reconfiguring the past.