Botany – Feeling Today

January 01, 1970

(Western Vinyl)


Picture Botany’s music unfurling like a brightly colored
scarf, silky smooth and light in the breeze, vaguely sensual in the most
abstract of ways, full of diaphanous textures that brush against you without
any sense of friction at all. This five-song EP jingles with bells, blossoms
with bubbly keyboards, percolates with gentle rhythms, its abstract narratives
as often carried by tropical birdcalls as by angelically altered voices.


Botany is a one-person show, pulled out of the jungle-humid
reveries of one Spencer Stephenson, an electronic artist who is now 22, but who
has been home recording, if his bio is to be believed, since the age of four.  As the name implies, there’s a tendency
towards the organic, the florid, the teeming diversity of plant life in these
songs, though we also are asked to consider the shimmering darts of minnow
ponds (“Minnow Theme”), and the giddy glee of amusement parks (“Waterparker”).


Stephenson has a little of Caribou’s knack for combining
otherworldly textures with playful, celebratory beats, a bit of Animal
Collective (and maybe, especially, Panda Bear’s) ability to find joy in
multi-layered rhythmic repetition. There’s a hint of post-rock’s
malleted-percussion serenity in dreamy “Benefactress,” a bit of Dosh’s prickly
looped cadences in closer “Agave.” But mostly, Botany shoots its own tendrils
into the brightest, cheeriest corners of melodic laptop psychedelia. If there’s
a musical equivalent to euphoria, to stomach-fizzing sense of well-being that
you might feel, once in a while, on a sunny Saturday, it’s “Feeling Today.”


DOWNLOAD: “Feeling Today”, “Benefactress.” JENNIFER



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