Infinite Limb – Branch, Commit

In the world of software development “Branch, Commit” is a term to describe the actions taken to start a new project. Engineers will “branch” off of the main trunk of code and, when ready, “commit” the new code back in. It’s a fitting title for the debut EP from Infinite Limb, not only because the mastermind behind the project, Kyle Numann, is an actual developer but because the project serves as an iterative transformation from his prior work.

If you weren’t aware, Numann is one of the primary members of Cloudmouth, a quasi-folky, quasi-rock, dancey-yet-contemplative undertaking that released the excellent Dark Energy album back in early 2018. He also performs in Crack Mammoth, a joyously explosive rock band that doesn’t get out near as much as it should. All that is to say, he’s no stranger to diversifying his songwriting and performing endeavors. Infinite Limb is a different side to those coins but clearly integrates lessons and tactics from those projects in a new way.

While the context is intriguing, it’s not imperative to enjoying the record. Branch, Commit is an instrumental record but it’d be unfair to call it entirely ambient or atmospheric; this is a record steeped in rhythms, changing over time. The album writeup cites the usage of “electric guitar and synthesizer, accordions and banjo all the way down to suitcases, boxes of nails, and a 25 track xylophone arrangement.” These compositions are front and center for your attention, not wading around in the background.

Software development is an iterative process. You make something, release it, find areas that need improvements and patch them up. Later on, you may add new features that were never even thought of in the first release. If you’re prone to esoteric thinking, this could be a solid metaphor for life and creativity in general. Infinite Limb is a new feature, a branch from the origin that not only changes the creator’s process but anyone who hears it and is willing to commit it to themselves.