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Victims of the New Math

Victims of the New Math dropped their latest album, I Will Be Your Blue Sky, this January. Thomas Young’s project blends the influences of alt-rock legends like The Beatles, Guided By Voices, and The Flaming Lips with smaller bands that have left an impression on him, like Mythical Motors and Pink Moc.

You can feel the wide range of inspiration from the first chords of “We Go Round”. The opening track sets a tone of existential exploration. “Everywhere we go, it’s happening just like clockwork,” they sing. The certainty in Young’s voice clashes with the guitars, making the sure statement unsure amidst the harmony.

Continuing to paint a sonic picture, “Sleeping On Airplanes” brings you sky high. The gentle opening and high register strumming on the guitar make it feel like you’re soaring alongside Victims of The New Math on their aerial journey. But “Number Twelve Everything” brings us back to Earth with wonderfully dissonant vocal aesthetics lamenting he’ll “never be the one” and “never be the next in line.” It tackles a realism the previous tracks floated over.

As the name might imply, “I Won’t Break Your Heart” is a love ballad showing off the band’s gentler side while “By Ourselves” delves into themes of love and loneliness. Young’s garage band vocal quality adds a raw, authentic texture to these tracks, drawing listeners into the emotional depths of each one.

Midway through the album, “Into The Sun” promises listeners “the best is yet to come.” The arpeggiated guitar line wails away as we “head into the sun” with them fittingly to “Radio Jets.” With its 23-second buildup to the titular line, “radio jets,” the track feels like it’s gearing to take off with us.

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As we land with the band, there’s sorrow. “Can’t Find My Way Back Home” offers moments of introspection and reflection. “If I can’t find my way back home, I’ll just want to cry.” The straightforward confession is hauntingly stark, almost depressive. 

But as soon as sadness fades to silence, a burst of optimistic pep barrels in. The brief yet impactful track “The Sun Is Gonna Shine” only lasts 1:25 and is a welcome dose of smiles before the album’s final track, “Polaroid”.

Concluding I Will Be Your Blue Sky is a soul-stirring ballad that serves as a fitting finale to the band’s musical journey. The psychedelic flourishes that have permeated the track are on full display in the soulful bridge and emotional guitar solo that builds into more and more energy. The final 30 seconds suddenly shift into quiet. A chance for us all to contemplate.

Stream “I Will Be Your Blue Sky” below.

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