American Watercolor Movement is a New Jersey band that has taken forays into concepts for previous albums going back to its earliest releases in the late 90s. And its latest album The Odyssey of Captain Vivian Ribbons (which released on February 17, 2023) is the story of a future earth struggling to survive as it sends Captain Vivian Ribbons out into the cosmos to find a habitable planet necessitating transcending the usual mortal human limits of space and time and thus standard physical existence. It sounds like a story out of some universe Hayao Miyazaki might have concocted in the 80s and the the music is a glorious mix of soundtrack pieces, art rock, synth pop, post-punk and various other styles serving the the place in the grand narrative. The single “Onward the Night” is about the Captain leaving earth on the aforementioned mission of hope against hope and the irresistible, driving bass line is motorik in the precision of its rhythms allowing for the rest of the music to anchor off of it. The song stands alone separate from the concept as just an exciting, epic song whose textural detail and great momentum traced in psychedelic tones bring you along for a ride like a song that might have been in that 1980s Transformers movie minus the cheese. The music video is equal parts 1980s anime, Dash Shaw and something one might expect out of a The Flaming Lips production and thoroughly enjoyable beginning to end. Watch the video on YouTube and follow American Watercolor Movement at the links below.
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