Dreams occur in fragments. When we awaken we attempt to piece together the story, relying on the memory of flashes of bright color, woozy imagery and scattered bits of noise. When we’re finally able to recall it all, or at least most of it, we’re left with a stunning, delirious memory that rolls about in our brain.
What if you could revisit the world of your dreams again and again, if a visit to the most surreal parts of your mind was just a step away? On Falling Into Sand, the new EP from Cincinnati based artist, Nice Knees, that visit becomes possible. For one brief moment you’re able to step into a world of daring experiments and stunning beauty - a world of dreams.
Nice Knees is the solo project of Bell Cenower, and it’s been an ever-changing, fluid evolution since its inception. On this release, she incorporates elements of distinct, bold production that make for experimental pop/electronic that leaves an unshakable impression. The inclusion of drum programming, tireless movement of sounds within the full stereo field and the use of synth sounds are all pieces in a very carefully constructed recording.
From the outset of the record, it’s apparent that her uses of rhythm and production help to create something wholly her own on Falling Into Sand. Though the recording may seem to flow with an effortless ease, Cenower used a methodical, borderline clinical recording practice to deliver on her vision.
It begins with, “Yeah/Uh (One)” a track that passes by ever so quickly, vocals and the sparse sound of effects bouncing off one another, creating a seemingly vast expanse with their subtle noise. The track later receives a follow up on “Yeah/Uh (Two)” this time with eerie, distant keys and a persistent bouncy kick of drums, all the while the sounds continuing to dance about each other in careful harmony.
Each moment of music, from the echoing vocals and otherworldly synths of “2 Much” to the colorful landscape of loops and orchestrated beats on “Come Down” comes together seamlessly. When each of the Cenower’s tracks flow together to form the totality of Falling Into Sand, the release becomes a collage of bright, unique experimental pop. And while you may feel woozy by it all, this rigorously created auditory vision never has to end, in fact you can revisit it over and over, discovering new parts and pieces of her process.