Belong Common Era

Belong Common Era
They haven't been the most prolific act in the last five years, but in the time since Turk Dietrich and Michael Jones released the first Belong album, October Language, not only has their hometown of New Orleans undergone some significant changes, so has their music. Their debut, along with two follow-up EPs (2006's Tour EP and 2008's Colorless Record), mixed warm, understated melodies into a pot of swelling, glitch-accented drone that found common ground with artists like Tim Hecker and Fennesz. Jumping labels from Carpark to Kranky, Dietrich and Jones have surprisingly moved away from the minimalism that made them such an alluring act to keep tabs on. Common Era finds Belong ditching the amorphous drones for a more song-based format, complete with vocals. From the flood of whirring guitars and motorik beats that opens "Come See," the immediate impression is that they've "gone shoegaze." Adding vocals and echo-drenched drums into the mix separates Common Era from its predecessors, giving some immediacy to the songs, at times with a post-punk jolt to them (i.e., "Perfect Life," "Never Came Close"). But Belong are still very much rooted in drone music's origins, sustaining a lot of ringing melodies with the heavily treated, suffocating layers of noise. Purists may lose sight of where Belong are taking their music, but Common Era finds them entering a brave new world at the top of their game. (Kranky)