Friday, August 24th, 2018

Chvrches ft. Wednesday Campanella – Out of My Head

Chvrches makes the sidebar with a boost from our current #8 of the year…


Taylor Alatorre: This one just charges right out of the gate, in the great tradition of urgent-sounding punk songs about indecision and inertia. The intermission only exists to make the final chorus land that much harder, and the final 12 seconds are a bunker buster that clears the way for repeat listens. KOM_I’s lyrics, in which the late J-rock icon Kiyoshiro Imawano is assigned to the same metaphysical plane as David Bowie, inject a much-needed sense of specificity into the sometimes cloistered Chvrches universe. Passive non-Japanese listeners may pick up on the feeling of worldly displacement anyway; non-native translators may be left wondering what exactly a “capture course” is. In any case, “SNS working all day!!” speaks for itself.

Vikram Joseph: A return to the compelling, propulsive form of Chvrches’ earlier work, and not just because they’ve taken the synthsplosion from the tail end of “Tether” and spooled it out across a whole song. It’s jagged, syncopated, anthemic, and (crucially) not coated in too much of the slick radio sheen that dulled most of Love Is Dead. And, adding a vital layer of angst and pathos to proceedings, Lauren Mayberry’s despairing howl – “And when you figure it out, you let me know” – rings painfully true to me right now.

Thomas Inskeep: Finally, a Chvrches song with enough carbonation! Obviously, Wednesday Campanella deserve some of the credit; I love the feel, the sound of the mostly Japanese vocals here. But “Out of My Head” surges gorgeously, like an over-caffeinated post-Dare 1983 fever dream. And you should know that I am here for post-anything fever dreams from the early ’80s.

Alfred Soto: Caution and a thin imagination are the usual characteristics of a minor band, and “Out of My Head” won’t change my mind about Chvrches. Wednesday Campanella don’t knock the dust off those vintage synthesizers. The only hint of manic wit is the taffy-stretched chorus.

Anna Suiter: This isn’t what you’d expect from this kind of collab, at least at first. They both have songs that have a lot of sonic texture, after all. And just because the textures are a little different in instrumentation doesn’t mean that they don’t fit together. Maybe they ended up blending together a little too well, but the effect isn’t bad.

Ryo Miyauchi: Chvrches and Wednesday Campanella each work with a focus opposite from the other. While the Glasgow trio magnifies feelings via synth bursts, the Japanese group breaks down its obsessions into atoms. Both excel at their own strengths here: Kom_I sets its theme of being lost in translation nicely through an assortment of clashing proper nouns, and that skyward chorus is classic Chvrches in strength. But I can’t help but wonder how each could’ve taken this song individually as both sides compromise their own inputs to meet each other halfway.

Iain Mew: Chvrches bring their best kind of overclocked-wind-up-synth-toy riff, a direct chorus, and a neat new solution to get from one to the other. Often keeping things wound up enough means too much of a good thing or diluted impact, but “Out of My Head” sidesteps that by jumping tracks to an equally exciting but entirely different song for the verses, Kom_I’s very different vocal style and all.

Reader average: [4.5] (2 votes)

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