Nothing screams being human than the shrill, haunting cries of Kimberly Rhodes, otherwise known as Happy Rhodes. Her new album explores that idea in its unconventional form. Happy Rhodes creepily contemplates mortality in Ectotrophia, a haunting record full of creepy sounds and eerie electronics.
What's most impressive about Ectotrophia isn't just the way it delivers its message; there's a lot of interesting sounds playing a role in building that sound, too. Opening track 'Oh The Drears' introduces the record with a hauntingly gothic sound, a ghastly electronic sound really setting in with the creepiness in support. 'I Cannot Go On' follows up with a more electronically-focussed sound, the sparkling synths dancing above more bright lyrical melodies. A more indie, guitar-based side comes out in 'Would That I Could' with a pretty rocky riff. There's loads of different sounds on Ectotrophia that keep it going forward with its unique presence.
The issue with Ectotrophia is that it's too long for its own good. An hour and sixteen minutes of this weird formula doesn't really work out. At first, it's cool how unique it sounds, the first few songs really sounding like some medieval witch's croon. But as it keeps going and going, it loses some of that magic. There's not a singularly bad song, and Happy Rhodes never loses sight of what she's set out to accomplish: the music is creepy from the very start to the very last reaches of the album, especially in 'Because I Learn.' Even when the frantic vocals of 'When The Rain Came Down' and the tense atmosphere of 'Don't Want To Hear It' help define the record, it just isn't enough to maintain interest for so long.
Happy Rhodes creepily contemplates mortality in Ectotrophia, building a unique, haunting sound but making the record too long to really go somewhere. An awesome vibe, but poor in execution, unfortunately.
Favorite Track: Oh The Drear
Least Favorite Track: Come Here
Rating: 68 / 100
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