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         Charlotte, NC duo It Looks Sad released Lost Tapes late last December. The EP is the first since Kaiju in June of 2015. The Tiny Engines band have released four projects after several lineup changes and shortening the original moniker, “It Looks Sad, That’s Why I Said It’s You” in 2013. Past releases have been defined by a sense of longing, being left behind, and isolated contemplation via an emo punk/post-punk palette.

       Lost Tapes holds true to elements of these past releases but also shows a clear change in direction in terms of tone and cadence. It is an ambient, stirring daydream, reminiscent of a My Bloody Valentine-like, full soundscape. “Crush” introduces the underwater vocal style that will feature on each of the project’s four tracks as distant guitar flips over ambient monotones.

       This style is at its most refined on “Meteor,” which features a reflective, atmospheric guitar part, occasionally imposing on itself. The entire project has an underwater quality about it, but “Meteor” seems like an attempt to reach out from that submersion. The vocal delivery is especially compelling in this way, repeating, “Should I run and hide.” Supporting bass and sharp, minimalist drum sounds low in the mix, occasionally offering a beautiful crash sound.

      Guitar comes to the forefront in “Jack Freeman.” The track recalls a nostalgic, failed love and its fallout with lyrics like, “remember when you sold that summer house.” The EP ends with bubbly synths, and double tracked, floating vocals. “You can’t get back to what you where” and “It’s gone it’s gone does it ever come back.”

       The album is fantastic and interesting in terms of how its sound will or will not feature on future projects. Hopefully, 2018 brings more work from It Looks Sad. Regardless, we have some of their best work to sit on until we find out.