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Album review: 'Positively Phototactic'


Auld Lang Syne

"Positively Phototactic"


"Positively Phototactic" is the latest album from the extraordinarily mellow Auld Lang Syne since 2015's "Last of the Honey Bees," and the band has emerged with a slightly meaner sound this time. Start to finish, "Positively Phototactic" has the band's sights on a path to oblivion. It does this so you don't have to, but that's not to say you won't get pulled in by Auld Lang Syne's magnetic melancholy.

Opening with "God Threw Up" — which isn't the direct sacrilege you'd been hoping for but rather a showcase of the band's astute observations in the form of a warning — Timothy Dick sings with a weary resolve that is nicely countered by his wife Kathy's sparkling voice and approach. Her singing on the track "Poison," a tune — or rather a hymn — with a simply beautiful progression, will give goosebumps to your goosebumps.

What catches the listener throughout this album is Auld Lang Syne's use of the negative space between the notes and the space found therein. And there are lyrical nuggets that'll grab you: I mean when Timothy sings "I'll be lonely as fuck" it's safe to say you didn't see it coming. "Positively Phototactic" isn't a celebratory venture, but it brings a certain joy that is cathartic from the onset.