The LA-based, psych-folk group Historian has dropped a new album which is incredibly energetic but moody titled Expanse. The project is a combination of Leonard Cohen-esque tone poetry with strong string sections and smoggy jazz detours. This is a band that isn’t afraid to step into new terrain and is going in a different direction sonically than any of the groups in the LA scene and perhaps one of my favorite bands since the rock band Armor For Sleep. The one drawback is that because of the tone of the album many people will automatically dismiss it because it falls short of pop crossover ambitions but perhaps because of that very fact the group has created a musical masterpiece.
Songs such as “Small Compromise” showcases Chris Karman healing vocals over well arranged pieces which is reminiscent of the work of Leonard Cohen. Where other tracks such as “My Last Call” highlight the bands attention to creating sonically pleasing pieces. This is an album that is well balanced and will definitely make you curious about the previous projects that the group has released. This is a slept on group but when people awaken to them, the world will be wondering how we went without for so long!! With ambitious songs such as my personal favorite song “Stars”.
The LP has already drawn similarities to classic orchestral albums, such as Sea Change, Automatic for the People and Velvet Underground’s quieter self-titled album. This is the type of classic album that becomes the soundtrack to peoples lives and it is rare that a group aims for the fences and connects, this project is a home run musically. Could easily see any of these songs being placed on television, feature films, or in the neighborhood Starbucks. If this project is any indication of the music to come in 2018 I’m excited as a high jumper at the Olympics and Historian has set the bar high!!