It's easy to make an atmosphere with electronic music, but it's not easy to keep expanding upon it with every song. Simian Mobile Disco offer unsettling sounds in Murmurations, continually building a creepy atmosphere throughout their record.
There are a lot of factors to what makes Murmurations so effective. For one, the general minimalism. Simian Mobile Disco don't make things overbearing with the vibe by adding in random sounds. Every noise feels purposeful. The growing glitchiness of 'A Perfect Swarm' really captures that idea well, the slow, creeping crawl of the track helping it get that disorienting vibe as the electronics seemingly go haywire. The spiraling nature of 'Hey Sister' also really grabs you in and takes your mind to another place, with the help of the vocals by The Deep Throat Choir.
While Simian Mobile Disco do an excellent job at establishing a sound, keeping it interesting is another story. There's definitely dynamic on Murmurations (opening track 'Boids' is alluringly peaceful, whereas the mechanical grinding of 'Gliders' makes it feel almost industrial), but individually not many songs really stick out. Everything sort of just builds a whole, which overall isn't entirely impressive in and of itself. Whether its the etherealness of 'We Go' or the punchy conviction of 'Defender,' there really isn't much that has you coming back. It's more so the overall atmosphere that gives the album allure rather than any of the individual components.
Simian Mobile Disco offer unsettling sounds in Murmurations, but while the atmosphere itself is something to behold, the songs themselves don't chalk up to much. It's an album that works well as something to pass by a task, but not something that would otherwise have you coming back for much else.
Favorite Track: A Perfect Swarm
Least Favorite Track: V Formation
Rating: 64 / 100
Stream or buy Murmurations on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: