- Nathan Yoder
Album of the Week - Inwards - Bright Serpent
To those who do not entirely appreciate the genre, electronic music can feel repetitive. A melody that spans an entire track, repeating over and over, seemingly goes nowhere to these listeners. But the best electronic music does entirely the opposite: it inspires movement. On his new album, Bright Serpent, Kristian Shelley (who performs under the alias "Inwards"), captures this feeling over ten tracks. Inwards creates colorful, upbeat dance music using both organic instrumentation and electronic manipulation, and in moments on Bright Serpent, channels the Postal Service's poppy brand of new wave. Though our world is mired in a moment of stasis, Inwards is doing his best to fight against inactivity and the sadness that it brings.
As stated under the "About" tab on this website, I work as a middle school humanities teacher. Last week, I asked students to go on a number of "virtual tours" of museums, historic sites, or outdoor locations, and then to report back on what they saw. While reading through these descriptive write-ups, Inwards' album played in the background, and was the perfect accompaniment. I felt as if I was walking through the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, the Getty, even Nina Simone's house! All of this is to say that music can capture us, and as Pitchfork recently showed us, can take us places even as we stare at screens in our homes. Inwards' Bright Serpent does this so well.