the fool, last year’s full-length album from setstill, marked them as makers of tasteful and ambience-infused, drifting yet occasionally groovesome songs. The track, be alive! cements such a reputation and shows they have plenty more to explore in their given sound palette and musical wanderings.
There is a neat juxtaposition at the heart of the song, one that sees forward-thinking musicality met with a slightly nostalgic echo. A gentle ebb and flow of musical moves that makes the track feel both familiar and fresh.
For every old-school, post-punk pop drift, there is an exploratory blend of electronic landscaping. For every slice of lyrical immediacy, there is something more ornate and imaginative lurking in the music. For every three steps they take into alt-pop future, there is at least one step back where they turn and tip their hat to pop past.
It’s a neat and subtle dance. The future is coming, but there is no need to get caught up in an undignified rush to embrace it. If there is a message hidden in the song, one that applies to the broader musical picture of making music for the modern age, it is this. Remember where you came from, look to where you are going but more importantly, enjoy the ride.