The Soft Hills’ Charismatic Chromatisms

Ileana Alvarez-Diaz

Coming from Seattle, Wash., The Soft Hills are virtuosos. Members Garrett Hobba, Brett Massa, Matthew Brown and Randall Skrasek are mesmerizing musicians, creating rich sounds that blend together so elegantly to create a velvety dance of harmonies.

Their newest album, Chromatisms, is without a doubt one of the best indie experimental albums guaranteed to not only give you goose bumps, but to have yourself float in a fantasy surrounded by nostalgia.

Do any of you have those days where all you seem to do is daydream? Lying in bed, listening to music and wondering about the little things that happened earlier in the week? This album explores that equivocal feeling. Feeling as though you’re as light as a feather and dancing through time.

Beginning with “Riding High,” the album starts out tense and almost eerie as the rich melodies place the song on delicate strings of ambiance, slowly creeping into your ears. With strong rhythms and drums crashing, it becomes such a lovely melancholic song. Slowly afterwards, “Sweet Louise,” takes you floating on a psychedelic journey, carried by waves of spacey riffs, a demanding baseline, a gentle guitar and a refrain that just takes you to a different era.

But then all of a sudden, it feels as though you’re merging with the harmonies as these blossoming ooh’s and ah’s dramatically hush down the lyrics to showcase its vibrant texture in “Marigolds.”

“Payroll,” also follows this pattern of sweet minimalist ballads. Whereas, “Un” and “Mighty River,” caress the ears with more psychedelic echoes, adding bursts of poetic power.

Overall, this album is brilliantly intricate with lovely vocals swirling together, and with the heavy and soft emotional sounds chasing each other. Chromatisms highlights the poetry the band shares so elegantly.

Listen to this album. It’s beautiful and it will give you goose bumps!

I’m not kidding; The Soft Hills are melodic masters at what they do. Check them out, you will not be disappointed.