Review: Requiem

GOAT's Requiem will conjure a smile upon your face within its first few bars, and the feeling of whimsical pleasure will stand by your side throughout the entirety of the album. The album seems to ease the listener into its wonderful world at first by having the lead vocalist seduce the audience with her capturing solo, which is layered over sounds of nature. After luring the audience into its spell, the group dives head first into a recorder-lead refrain that will brighten anyone’s day. Now before you start to ask, let me save you the trouble of confusion. Yes, I did say, “recorder-lead refrain” in a positive manner. And yes, while I understand that it may be one of the worst sounding instruments on the planet at times, it oddly sets a perfect tone for the album to follow throughout its duration. Somehow, the melody doesn’t seem to be affected by its elementary foundations, but instead thrives on the childlike freedom the instruments create. GOAT uses Requiem to transcend the audience into an enchanting realm of innocence and glee, and I am pleased to say that they wonderfully achieve that environment. 

The psychedelic album transfixes the audience through a variety of styles. While the childlike wonder endures throughout Requiem, GOAT does not let its central emotion control its musical styles. They explore sounds that represent rolling psychedelic rock from the 70’s, beautiful acoustic compilations, and different cultural techniques from all areas of the world spanning from an Indian influence to British pop. GOAT effortlessly floats from genre to genre while putting their own spin on the songs in the process. For example, “Alarms” begins with what seems to be a vibraslap being played over a capturing guitar riff that rolls into a western-themed progression. The melody oozes imagery of barren landscapes and lone wanderers. The vocalist’s hollow sound is backed up by lush, low harmonies that envelop the audience into the songs captivating nature. From their western anthem, the band switches to the lighter sounding track, “Trouble in the Streets” which feels like a brit-pop tune from the late 80’s. The group even takes a stab at dirty, grunge garage rock with their riffs in the track “Goatfuzz”. 

GOAT blends uses of an extensive diversity of string, percussion, and woodwind instruments into a hypnotic masterpiece that effortlessly transfixes the audience. Whether it is their use of recorders in “Djorolen/Union of Sun and Moon”, to the sitar in “Try My Robe”, or even the layers upon layers of percussion instruments in each song, GOAT manages to approach musical experimentation quite literally in Requiem.

The carefree nature of Requiem is infectious. Its extreme varieties of instruments and techniques are subtly used to make a beautiful and alluring auditory collage.  The album is an escape from reality and an experience like no other. The joyous journey of Requiem is one that I highly recommend, and one that I will definitely revisit time and time again.  

Requiem is available now through Sub Pop Records.

Gabriel Dufourreview, goat, requiem