By Madisen Gummer
Attic Ted’s hypnotic tracks and abstract masks have become a staple of the San Marcos music scene. From their European summer tour to local house shows, seeing Attic Ted live is an unforgettable experience.
The band’s latest album, Kafka Dreaming, was released in August 2019 and is an eight-track record composed of wacky and tantalizing sounds, exploring the more eccentric sides of humanity.
Kafka Dreaming opens with the trippy, fun song, “Skip to the Lulu.” Adorned with dizzying keys and pandemonic vocals, this track is a great introduction to what’s to come from the rest of the record.
The energy slows down a bit with “Come Inside,” a song that mirrors the transcendent, yet confusing feelings of drowsiness and delirium. Next up is “Stand Up (if you want to)” with its droning beat and long introduction. The monotone voices of the chorus contrast with the carnival-sounding clarinet line that follows, creating a multidimensional track and a discordant, relieving experience.
The record slows down again with “14 Hours,” a super sexual song with a fluid and gender-bending narrative, which highlights their experimental story-telling techniques. This song begins with a falsetto voice, a seemingly feminine character, explaining sexually explicit lyrics about a character with male pronouns, and ends with those same lyrics is a deeper voice, but explained with female pronouns.
The title track, “Kafka Dreaming,”carries listeners into the second half of the album with its funky beat and nod to “The Metamorphosisby” by Franz Kafka, a book which explores themes of human identity– consciousness, morality, class, and what makes us different from giant cockroaches.
This song sets the goal of this album to explore how different humans really are from the rest of our animals and bug neighbors.
A major characteristic of Attic Ted’s music is their heavy reliance on the physical instruments before they add little moments of voice. Their music does an incredible job exerting and exemplifying the transcendental power of music.
“Should Have” continues to carry out the theme of Kafka Dreaming, eccentricity and experimentation. The final powerhouse track, “Tiké Mouv” blurs genres with its groovy yet steady beat and repetitive lyrics.
Kafka Dreaming closes out with a mellow song, “3 O’Clock in the Morning.” It’s as if this record is the journey of a night out, and this track is the dreary walk home and the sad realization of ephemerality– mirroring all the intricate qualities that make us human.
Their use of experimental sounds and instruments reflect the ups and downs, lefts and rights of humanity. Attic Ted carries on their tradition of enjoyable disorientation with their newest collection of songs, and remains at the top of the San Marcos music scene.
Featured image retrieved from Attic Ted.