Giallows' "Lost Boy"

The Davenport-based horror-score psych-rock experimental crew Giallows dropped a new track called “Lost Boy” on the most recent iteration of Bandcamp on March 5 – the first Friday of the month being the day the music-hosting platform cedes its usual share of profits directly to the artists, which has caused a huge monthly spike in both artist output and fan purchasing. With its moody, forward-driving narrative, walls of distorted guitar, and melodic vocal lines, “Lost Boy” proves to be one of the most affecting and, dare I say, accessible tracks that I’ve heard from this shape-shifting band.

Landing somewhere on the art-rock spectrum explored by the likes of Radiohead or Elbow, the track lopes along over a steady electronic drum beat and a chunky guitar riff, as layers of additional sustained guitar screech and abstract electronics accumulate around the edges of the mix. The full scope of the track contains plenty of surprising moments, from a passage in which the guitar cuts loose into a huge solo, to the climactic introduction of a cascade of minor-key synth arpeggios. Though the band has tried on innumerable hats across their wide catalog, the production value here instantly seems miles above much of their other output, steering totally clear of the 20-minute-plus basement-fried jam sessions captured on their full albums and paring the proceedings down into a nice, pop-adjacent morsel for us to ruminate on. Perhaps most surprising of all is the lead vocal performance by band leader Adam Wesconsin, whose crystal clear voice sits at the very front of the mix here, winding its way through a dynamic set of melodies that even occasionally climbs up closer to the falsetto range. The track’s video proves just as compelling as the music itself, with its diverse set of imagery ranging from heavily processed time-lapse footage of empty neighborhoods, to what looks like drone bombing footage, to some swaths of classic trippy swirl effects. When the band themselves pop into view, standing bolt upright with their guitars in a small room against a wall of projected visuals, the presence of distinguishable humans snaps us back to reality for a second, as if to remind us that Giallows is a real band who plays real shows before our eyes. Hopefully they can get back to that live experience soon.

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