The newest wave of emo bands has taken the music scene by storm. Greats like Tiger’s Jaw, Pity Sex, and Tiny Moving Parts make being sad as relatable as possible through this outlet. While some efforts may come off cheesy, others, like Charmer, are able to evoke emotion with a perturbed vibe exuded through each and every song. Does their sophomore album, Ivy, hold up to this high standard?
Ivy kicks off with “Slumber”, establishing its somber vibe through the band’s upbeat instrumentation that’s given weight from its minor key. The pre-chorus, as well as other parts of the song, feature mathy progressions, reminiscent of genre staples American Football. “Dead Plants” has a memorable guitar hook throughout the verses that earns a melody in its outro.
Next is “Doom” with a quicker pace and multiple tapping sections to die for. “Wolf Fang Fist” has the most tongue-in-cheek lyrics yet, with “I don’t really wanna die, so why do I think about it all the time?” The most aggressive, higher-octaved vocals come into play in “Windbreaker” before the most intricate bridge on Ivy thus far.
The most reminiscent track yet, “December” laments a broken relationship over the most complex guitar runs on the album. “Wither” follows, and the highlight of this track is its mangled descent and leadup to the single, “VCR 666,” which received a fantastic music video displaying the fraught, detached mood of the band.
On “Track & Field,” the vocalist asks, “Did I impress you? I love everything you do.” “Sunshine Magazine” is the definitive slow song on Ivy, perfect to space out to; brass in the outro cements the traditional emo composition. The closing song is “Chandelier”, and finishes things up with a long, focused bridge.
Charmer utilizes all of the best pieces of the bands they’re inspired from to sculpt their own noteworthy sound. Ivy is as good of a follow-up as you could ask for from the young band and indicates a bright future ahead of them. Listen to Ivy when it releases Friday, April 3rd!