I was honestly pretty close to just starting this review off with a definition. ‘Cause, what the hell is a phenakistoscope? Early animation device, I think. Also what is the album “Phenakistoscope ” by Howevever. Well, it’s a pretty dope bedroom pop album that kind of sounds like The Shins decided to take a whack at the modern bedroom pop genre.
Howevever is a bedroom pop artist out of Perth. Similar to another favorite Australian of the blog, Yb., I sense a lot of 2000’s indie influences as well as bedroom pop favorites like Animal Collective. I would honestly recommend checking out Howevever’s Spotify Bio as it tells a small story, and paints a more complete picture. Howevever has been active since 2020 with their first release “A Healthy Fear Of Everything.”
There are so, so many things to like about this album. For me, it hits the pacing and length sweet-spot coming in just under 26 minutes, but feeling like you’ve taken a journey of epic proportions. There’s a tangible feeling to the music that is missing in a lot of bedroom pop. The tom’s are boomy, there’s a joyous percussiveness to the acoustic guitars, and it contains an overall level of artful playfulness that’s wholly refreshing. “Phenakistoscope” contains wonderful and thoughtful lyricism along with its complex song structures. “Here It Comes, There It Goes” and its musings on aging are my personal favorite.
This is a really strong early contender for album of the year for me. There’s something about the pacing and construction of this album that really bring each of its songs to the next level. Hopefully, y’all like it too.
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