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Gloriously Unending: Covet — catharsis Review

Shimmering melodies encased with rich texture – Covet delivers yet again.

Photograph by Sara Phung

Words by Rohan (@manvsplaylist):

Covet, the San Francisco-based trio anchored by the incredibly talented multi-disciplinary artist Yvette Young, have now released their third full length album, titled catharsis. For those new to the group, Covet craft predominantly instrumental songs, characterized by Young’s signature heavily syncopated guitar flourishes, intricate circular riffery, and tingly melodies that create a bright sonic blossom of sound.

In creating the latest offering, Young has enlisted the help of Brandon Dove on bass and Jessica Burdeaux behind the kit, while the recorded material features previous collaborator and band member Forrest Rice on drums. The result sees Covet continue to broaden its sound in interesting ways, while still delivering the same glorious melodic highpoints that have been so integral to their core sound throughout their recorded history.

Right from the first bars of album opener coronal, the confidence and adventurousness of Young’s song-writing is in full view. This cut is a hefty sonic departure from any prior material, layering in more fuzz and a thicker low end that is more akin to Dinosaur Jr in tone, while cleverly experimenting with the vocoder and layering on Young’s vocals – a combination that delivers a walloping right hook of sound that cleverly resets the expectations of long-time fans for what is to follow.

The first single firebird follows, which brings us back to more familiar song-writing territory, complete with cheery finger-picked licks, catchy taps and slides and an infectious groove that seeps in. This track, together with its accompanying video, showcase a vital element of not just the bands sound but their entire ethos from this scribe’s perspective: and that is one of unbridled joy and positive, even if at times goofy, energy. That vibrancy is consistent across this entire album, but it also punctuated by some moodier, introspective elements which provide an overall balance to its entire feel. See for instance the intricate interweaving of the bass-lines in vanquish or the somber key strokes of interlude, both of which demonstrate an emotional counterpoint to the abundant highs found elsewhere throughout the record.

For all the guitar wizardry, depth of tone, and worship of pedal that is present on catharsis, it would be all for naught if the underlying songs themselves weren’t memorable or impactful. Thankfully, Covet have once again proved an ability to captivate the ear, and provide a plethora of new nuggets of detail to their sound that continues to expand their range. For an album that is largely instrumental, that is quite an achievement.

The album is closed out with the sumptuous lovespell, a perfect bookend to the explosive opener, which finds the band in a far more contemplative space. The rhythm is driving, the guitar layers appear gloriously unending, and another new element surfaces – this time in the form of saxophone parts, played by Alex Rose (Minus the Bear). With new elements to the band’s approach serving as both opening and closing statements to the record, Covet have clearly taken strides to challenge themselves and their audience. In full, catharsis is exactly that – the sonic equivalent of exploring a broad layer of emotions, to arrive at a place of inner peace and comfort. It's an engrossing listen, one that is highly recommended.

catharsis is available now via Triple Crown Records (Order).

Cover Artwork by Yvette Young


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