words: Michael Brooks
The music of Portland’s very own Turtlenecked is as wildly unpredictable as they come, last year’s stellar Vulture is a testament to Harrison Smith’s eccentric tendencies as an artist. “Underwear”, the lead single from Turtlenecked’s forthcoming EP High Scores Of The Heart, carefully balances ecstasy and heartbreak in an inescapably sincere manner. The track is a welcome change of pace from Smith’s usual art-pop excursions, featuring some of the band’s most straightforward and catchy songwriting to date. But don’t be fooled, behind the crisp and glistening production lies Smith, who’s caught in a reverie of forgotten romance, making for a tension so thick that you can practically feel it. The singer is backed by an array of twinkling synths that bounce and flicker around like a disco ball illuminating a skating rink, the track sounding like something John Hughes might have used to soundtrack a first kiss. “Underwear” is a tender resignation about the way feelings linger; it might be sugar-coated but that doesn’t making it any easier to swallow.