Although Equals formed in 2008, the San Antonio-based band took their time releasing any official music, coming out with their debut, self-titled EP in August 2011. The quintet built upon that disc to create Tracts, their first full-length record, which they will issue independently this spring.

Tracts blends together airy pop and indie rock, with every track creating its very own ambiance, each one more intricate than the last. The album’s opener, “Conveyor,” begins with soft, rapid clapping before introducing a lighthearted keyboard to match the beat, slowly bringing forth the rest of the song. This quickly develops and takes on a stronger structure, while laying out what listeners can expect from the rest of the disc: genre-blending tunes that tell their own stories.

Songs fluctuate between calm and chaotic, often taking on several different distinctive moods throughout one track. “Telefoto” begins with a funky bass and jazzy drums, but as it reaches its finale, this fades into a gentle acoustic guitar. This is directly followed by “Autotelic,” a stark contrast to its predecessor, which consists of manic synths and unsettling guitars. The LP is purely instrumental, but the group makes sure the vocals are not missed by constantly experimenting with their sound, keeping listeners on their toes and guiding them through the album. By the end of Tracts, it is clear that adding vocals into the mix would have only ruined the simplistic but engaging vibe they have created.

Tracts is exciting and intriguing. Equals find a satisfying balance between all of the elements they incorporate into each track to make the record fascinating, allowing it to grow and take on a life of its own.

In A Word: Innovative

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