On their third effort, Loose in the Air, Brooklyn quartet The Double prove the old adage that, when it comes to making albums, the third time is a charm. With Loose in the Air, The Double has created a mesh of shivering pop guile that tangles so well into their sound. One of the other bearings which can render The Double quite bewildering is the way in which each of the four members seems to be on a different level with their instrumental performance, yet the album they have created has combined all those levels so cohesively in a sound that can only be described as a symmetrical collage.
“Up All Night” froths with a mysterious murkiness before a cavalcade of grinding noise comes crashing into the tone of a frolicking trounce. The real staple of The Double’s sound however is and always has been the Vox/Casio stew of keyboardist Jacob Morris as his skills on “Icy” seem like they came straight from the score of Napoleon Dynamite. Loose in the Air keeps things amicably moody with arty nuggets such like “On Our Way,” splashed with ambient Krautrock and Donald Beaman’s noise pollution-retained guitar battles. “Ripe Fruit” is some slow drizzling sweetness that almost spells out “lullaby,” albeit “Hot Air” is rife with milky creepiness that echoes a peculiar aria that epitomizes the sound of a great many overlooked, yet legendary, contributors to musical psychedelia such as Arthur Brown.
The riffs rain in torrents alongside fluctuating beats being pounded out of the tom skins of drummer Jeff McLeod on “What Sound it Makes the Thunder,” while Morris’s intertwined organ wails as if it were amplified throughout the underground lair of the Phantom of the Opera…if he took a lot more drugs. Even the notion of alt-country is fused into the dark cabaret of “In the Fog,” as “Dance” is awash with emotional chilliness.
But the ending folky trippiness in “Busty Beasty” proves that the The Double are well at home on the Matador label, alongside bands such as Helium, Yo La Tengo, Dead Meadow and Mogwai, because every song that Loose in the Air emits is as eclectic as the label’s diverse roster. This record makes it crystal clear that for The Double to be on any other label would be utterly blasphemous at the very least.
The Double – Palm Fronds
Yo La Tengo – Summer Sun
Helium – The Dirt of Luck