Lava Gulls – Artifacts

Lava Gulls started as a Knoxville band but have since moved their primary members to Nashville since late 2017, so now we can claim them as our own. Their debut full-length, Artifacts, is a sample-driven escapade that pits dance-y beats against a vaguely foreboding set of arrangements.

Much like the works of Animal Collective (or later era Flaming Lips), there’s an optimistic vibe seeping out throughout the album but each track is steeped in a darker tone. Maybe that’s being too esoteric about the production style but listening ever so slightly to the lyrics reveals that there’s some soul searching going on, which is reflected nicely in these opposing forces.

On the whole, the album is easy to imagine being performed live in a tiny, sweaty, room with a cathartic audience dancing themselves through the experience.