LA-based trio Mysteries arrive, as their name suggests, surrounded by an air of mystery. But instead of burdening themselves with a convoluted back story they opt for anonymity allowing the music to take the spotlight. And whilst the identity of the individual members remains unknown, discerning audiences may be familiar with the distinct vocal croon adorning majority of the albums tracks.
Opening with the aptly titled ‘Introduction’ this curious piece betrays the album that follows with its crowded production and almost psychedelic flair playing in stark contrast to the sleek, polished restraint that becomes apparent over the course of the remaining album. Despite this contrast the piece achieves its goal by introducing the audience to Mysteries, an introduction that is more baptism by fire as opposed to a softer “getting to know you” approach, which may in turn flesh out some of the less adventurous listeners.
‘Knight Takes Rook’ presents the combination of synth, live drums and infectious vocal melodies that becomes the blueprint for most of the songs here. There is no doubt that Mysteries will be identified as electronic and their tendency toward synth-heavy production is testament to this, but the impressive live drumming (an integral element to their sound) differentiates them from a stereotypical electronic act.
‘Newly Thrown’ follows revealing the album’s pop heart. This seemingly simple song is catchy enough that it verges on indie crossover territory, a feat that is hinted at elsewhere on tracks such as ‘Ev’rything’ and ‘I Wanna’ but never as fully realised. However these pop elements are far outweighed by the group’s tendency towards darker tones which makes for a far more compelling listen.
‘Deckard’, assumedly named after the protagonist in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Blade Runner is a suitably slippery affair with its warbling bass and booming snare reminiscent of 80’s synth pop which appears to be an important influence on the band’s sound.
This assured debut will certainly find its fan base and whether the band chooses to remain anonymous or not the music is strong enough to support their next move, whatever that may be.