Music, Print, Reviews January 22, 2013

Review: Pearl Necklace – “Soft Opening”

by Jordan Wood

Pearl-Necklace-Soft-Opening-e1353988271720Straight out of the Brooklyn electronic music scene, Bryce Hackford and Frank Lyon make up the band Pearl Necklace. Pearl Necklace immediately draws attention to themselves with the blatant innuendo in their name, along with the title of their first album, Soft Opening. Hackford and Lyon say they “share a fascination with language, sound, meaning, and with forms of communication.” These naturally creative Brooklyn boys recently signed with the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound, and their debut album is set to be released on January 29th.

Soft Opening is a ten-track taste of what this fledgling band has to offer. It is rich with short, but well-placed samples, and other electronic sounds to create an album that is ambient, and almost conversational in nature. The album begins with “Another Invocation of the Breath,” which is a simple, dark, but not necessarily “soft” opening for the album. The next few songs on the album seem to evolve from the first and have a similar beat that ties them all together. Alexis Georgopoulos (or ARP) is featured on four of the ten tracks, and is responsible for helping Pearl Necklace get signed to their label. There is not a distinct difference between most of the tracks on Soft Opening, and the album is also entirely instrumental.

Although the absence of vocals does not make it lackluster, Soft Opening does become a bit stagnant after the first couple of songs. “Don’t” is one of the strongest and most unique tracks on the album with it’s repetitive samples and an interesting beat that sticks out among the rest. Andrew VanWyngarden, singer for MGMT, is also featured on the final song “Wist,” making it another noteworthy song. The ethereal, alien-like synthesizer sounds combine with a slow drumming to end the album on a higher note.

Soft Opening is the type of album that might go well with an evening of psychedelic drugs. Its ambiance allows the listener to zone out and relax and it can be interpreted as slightly monotonous. It is clear with this album that Pearl Necklace has definite potential to be a big electronic band once they make their sound more complex. Hackford and Lyon are clearly talented, and Soft Opening is a soft beginning to a band that could be big in the years to come. Check their album out on January 29th via

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