Sounding like something between Arcade Fire and Green Pajamas, The Umbrella Sequence has put nine of its latest works into Events for popular consumption. These indie-pop orchestrations fall into very familiar territory, so those who gravitate towards this kind of thing can make a new friend in this band.
Some of the songs seem to grow out of a fondness for Beatles psychedelia, as on the somber “This Time We’re Positive.” Others tend toward the celebratory, as on “Urban Lull.” This track, which kicks off the album, has a dance-ready rhythm to counteract the mellow vocals and lulling keyboards, almost like Beck. On this and other tracks, the vocals most peg the band as pop.
Sometimes, the pop gives way to rousing indie rock. “Et Tu Forte?” races forward like Bloc Party, a blueprint further reinforced by the insistent guitar line. “Elephant” uses the same formula; its pacing, its mid-song buildup, and its reliance on driving guitar lend it an Interpol aspect.
The energy-driven songs spend less time building a mood than do the more evenly paced ones. On “Life Events and Sinking Ships,” the band combines Thom Yorke’s delivery with an epic sounding bridge and chorus, where keyboards do as much for the sound as the guitars do. As with “The Need To Make Lists” and “Purple Roads,” The Umbrella Sequence seems to be aiming for the slipstream behind Beulah’s Heartstrings. That’s a fine place to be if you can pull it off, and The Umbrella Sequence are very close to that mark.