These New Puritans, Matchess | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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These New Puritans, Matchess 

When: Sat., May 3, 9:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $18, $15 in advance
Certain records take time to open up and reveal their secrets, and that’s definitely the case with Field of Reeds (Infectious), the richly detailed third full-length by London trio These New Puritans. Their art-pop frequently reminds me of Radiohead circa Kid A, particularly the shifting layers of long tones that create lovely, unusual harmonies in the intros to many tracks—but the group doesn’t do enough to build on those beginnings. Bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Jack Barnett can’t sing with Thom Yorke’s power or range, and though the keyboard-dominated arrangements are reliably pristine and elegant, many of the songs fail to do them justice. Few albums last year managed to feel as lifeless as Field of Reeds while sounding so impressive. Here’s hoping These New Puritans’ live shows up the ante. These New Puritans also play at SPACE on Fri 5/2. —Peter Margasak


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