Album cover artwork for Methyl Ethel with purple vinyl record popping outImmersive and all-consuming, Methyl Ethel’s sonic universe doesn’t necessarily even require words. But a study of Jake Webb’s trademark abstract lyrics – sometimes tricky to decipher due to unconventional phrasing and clipped, syllable-separating enunciation (eg. “Who’s that per-son that ca-nnot be put/ In-to a categ-ry?…”) – will delight attentive listeners.

There’s also an omniscience to Webb’s vocal delivery, which glides over instrumentation adding otherworldly atmosphere rather than just an individual’s perspective. Gently cascading piano melodies and stately chords act as recurring motifs throughout Methyl Ethel’s fourth and latest album. Mid-song, One and Beat – which explores Webb’s “relationship to music and audiences” – mutates into chaotic, instrumental demolition before veering towards industrial, Depeche Mode territory. And when the complex, genre-fluid standout track Castigat Ridendo Mores – a Latin phrase which translates as, “he corrects customs through ridicule” – strips back to piano outro, we can’t believe we’re not actually levitating.

Elsewhere: that euphoric synth breakdown during pulsing latest single Proof (feat. Stella Donnelly) demands arms-swaying-overhead action and Matters channels earthquake anxiety into a hyperactive, pogo-worthy banger. However even this record’s most moreish, MGMT-level joyous moments are sprinkled with irresistible melancholy (see: Kids on Holiday, which bemoans the heavy burden placed on Generation Greta to save our planet). Like an aura, Are You Haunted? can be felt as well as heard.

Are You Haunted? by Methyl Ethel is out Feb 18 via Future Classic.

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