Circa Survive is one of the numerous indie/experimental rock bands that I have been getting into lately. Over the last year and especially in the last few months, all kinds of modern rock with a distinct indie character has been growing on me. This is a big change for me, after years upon years of only listening to the more simple, brutal and straightforward stuff in the realm of punk and hardcore. I don't know if it is a part of growing older or whatever, but I am not resisting to more mainstream/mellow music anymore, as long as it rocks my world and makes me feel good. And Circa Survive does that.
Blue Sky Noise was released in 2010 and it is a perfect example of that brainy, experimental, melancholic indie that I am talking about. There is an important dose of distortion and rocking, but mostly we have easy listening, wide choruses and verses with perfect, innovative drumming that goes all around the spectrum of experimental rock music, and nice multi varied guitars. This pop rock gem brings in elements from many genres, including modern stadium rock, some straight up pop, a good dose of heavy emo, some country-ish guitar layering, a little bit of gospel, and much much more.
It is the type of record that you have to listen many times until you really get it (something that I haven't accomplished yet, I am going for 30-40 listens at least on this one), and of course the records that grow on me slowly are my favorite kind of records. You can play this in a room with people and it could go down as some nice American indie rock, but when you sit down alone and listen to the record, you can recognise its subtle, almost dispassionate beauty that creeps in and inevitably grows on you. These apparently happy songs slowly become fence sitters on the whole happy/sad agenda, giving you a strong bittersweet feeling and ultimately leaving you wanting more to reenact the whole thing.
Extra points go out for: multi-layered and varied guitar work, unusual drum patterns, equally unusual high-pitched vocals that somehow work, nice cover artwork which displays the whole contrast the music expresses.