Published Mar 19, 2018Montreal's Look Vibrant have been perfecting their noise-pop project for years now, wrapping it up nicely in their debut, The Up Here Place. The quartet manage to chalk something that sounds close to a indie motion picture soundtrack for post-millennials; something a dazed lover would throw on, sprawled out on the floor, hands out to the ceiling, closely examining the liner notes.
The Up Here Place is a collection of stunning material, like the liquid rhythm on the summery "Cauliflower," unrelenting synths and a shuffle of bass and guitar riffs on "Numb Your Spirit" and falsetto vocals front-and-centre on "My Old City." These tracks are balanced by the mighty "My Nerves" and the easily complicated, but sonically beautiful, "Last One to Survive." The latter is coated in dense instrumentation, a track that closely embodies The Up Here Place album cover, with "Here II" borrowing from the mind of Panda Bear. It is the culmination of over two years of carefully curated sounds and judicious attention to detail, while still allowing it to sound like an effortless noise-pop record.
Look Vibrant are not pouncing on an opportunity to insert a hook here or there — although each song is strikingly memorable — but an opportunity to reach your mind when it's in its most vulnerable state, forcing it to wander to uncharted sonic territories. Think intricate perfection, not calculated obsession.
The Up Here Place is wittingly strange but fun when it needs to be, and at times deserves to be unpredictable and sceptical. It all works; most certainly complex, but easily accessible and sometimes just plain danceable. Look Vibrant produce something irrefutably presque vu, holding your attention hostage. With sounds leaning toward Vampire Weekend, but ultimately their own, Look Vibrant arguably assert themselves as young veterans in the scene. (Independent)