Most music listeners can’t stand complexity. They don’t need to. If you’ve never played an instrument, or given much thought to musical maths, any old band or artist has the potential to sound magical. “How do they conjure these sounds?” they might ask; “I can dance to this!” one may exclaim, while another nods their head to that sweet, sweet 4/4 beat.
Complexity may be viewed as a deterrent to the average music consumer, but I’m always down to wrap my head around a weird time signature, especially when it’s paired with a heavy amount of shred. “Group Manoeuvre” by Aerialists is full of prog-rock arithmetic while still feeling organic and lush. The instrument choices alone are enough to make even the most jaded music listener stroke their in chin with interest. The typical drums and guitars provide a strong backup for fiddler Elise Boeur and harpist Mairi Chaimbeul—both masters at the respective instruments.
Aerialists are not taking the easy route and they are all better for it. Their music is challenging, but the East Coast charm and pastoral beauty makes “Group Manoeuvre” a wonder. There may be some contradiction in being a traditionally inclined prog-rock band, but by combining the forms, Aerialists manage to bypass the tired elements of the genre’s they are playing within and create something truly unique.