Following 2014’s critically acclaimed opening volley EP, composed of espionage-themed singles, and their 2015 politically tinged full-length debut Dead Letterbox, New York’s Imaginary People return with their second full-length release, entitled October Alice, due in March 2017. The album was again produced by Kevin McMahon (Swans, Titus Andronicus, Real Estate), reprising his role from their debut LP.
The band swings for the fences on their second LP, recorded in a barn in upstate NY, via a grittier approach, with an eerie, reverb-laden wall of sound abundant throughout, cannily crafted via the use of a second drum kit inside a silo. It mirrors the morbid subject manner of the album, easily their most disarmingly personal material to date.
Mournful yet anthemic, the album resonates with a simmering intensity. Dark visions abound, of horrific events that can’t be undone—yet the sorrow is sublimated into an unsurpassable catharsis. It’s evident on the likes of the smoldering “Snapshot,” the racing-pulse rave-up “Seven Days,” and the cacophonous serpentine groove of “Fresh Kill.” But this isn’t an album of easily digestible singles. It’s best swallowed whole, as a piece, one that candidly encompasses anguish, the bleakness of humanity, but ultimately a sense of hope that music in some small way can heal the deepest of emotional wounds.