Is the Idea of Us has the same appeal as a repetitive video game played in a dark basement: it locks you in a stupor and sprinkles in surprise hits of dopamine to keep you hooked.
Listening to New Fries is like entering a state of hypnosis. There is a feeling of beautiful release when you submit yourself to their music. Incantation-like vocals sound like a lullaby to your ears, so you don’t realize you’re falling under a hex until it’s too late. While Is the Idea of Us sees New Fries transform as an entity, with each member switching their instrumentation or approach, they retain their mesmerizing spirit, and come into their own.
New Fries’s music relies heavily on rhythms that seem to spiral deeper within themselves. The motions feel both highly structured and precise, despite leading you straight into chaos. A call and response between round bouncy bass hooks and scratching guitars creates a texture that is both meditative and jarring. The fragmented lyrics are like little bursts of creative energy hastily scribbled on napkins. For a band that is experiencing a metamorphosis, New Fries is impressively tight, and seem to be tuned into each other’s thoughts on Is the Idea of Us
“Bangs” opens the album with a ticking time bomb, drawing you in with its suspenseful beat before unleashing a chaotic storm of blaring synth sirens. “Lily” tells the story of singer Anni Spadafora’s spiritual conduit grandfather, and through the frenetic guitars, we hear him anxiously pacing through the spirit world between moments of peaceful connection with the other realm. In “Ploce”, the band discusses finding their shape; the bass replicates the awkward steps of navigating uncertain terrain but with the joyful bounce of child-like exploration, as Spadafora confidently lists contradicting existential reflections. The album is interspaced with seven tracks named “genre” which cover the bandwidth of raw song bits and sound collages. They contribute to the trance-like flow of the album much like the way dreams seem to melt into one another.
Is the Idea of Us has the same appeal as a repetitive video game played in a dark basement: it locks you in a stupor and sprinkles in surprise hits of dopamine to keep you hooked. While at first the movements and controls feel strange, you quickly fall into a familiar rhythm, and can’t stop playing this album.