“Dialects” by Snowmine

February 04. 2014 | By Julian Ring


[Mystery Buildings]

Dialects ends with a quickening heartbeat, claustrophobic fingerpicking and scratched guitars fluttering between channels as the cinemati-scape unfurled in opener “To Hold an Ocean” coils into a pinprick finish. Think of this album — the latest full-length from Brooklyn quartet Snowmine — as a reverse explosion, and the string and flute embellishments that populate its expansive first side sound right at home. They rest on top of core instrumentation that’s mellow and even somber at times, but lifted by the deceitfully sidling arpeggios of guitarists Calvin Pia
and Austin Mendenhall.

The standout tracks present themselves in sequence, from the dreamy flight soundtracked by “Rome” — Jay Davidson’s butter-smooth bass makes the song — through the lazy stomper “Columbus” and the unadorned yet exceedingly dark guitar work on “You Want Everything.” Singer and keyboardist Grayson Sanders’s voice vaults and dissolves into Postal Service-like synths on “Plans,” arguably the record’s last widescreen track. Textural discipline is a rare find in even the upper echelons of indie rock, but Snowmine display a mastery of restraint and targeted indulgence that lets these songs speak for themselves.

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