For a five-song EP, School of Seven Bells' Put Your Sad Down has a lot to sink into.
The New York City-based electro-pop duo (formerly a trio) released its last LP, Ghostory, back in March, so this EP serves the dual purpose of getting some leftovers on record and holding fans over while they're touring. It's not a new tactic, but it was done well.
Put Your Sad Down opens on the nearly 13-minute title track that's half clattering and thumping synth odyssey, and half cold and eerie electronic landscape. Somehow, neither the expansiveness or repetitiveness are tiring as long as you don't think too hard. Just drift in it.
The rest isn't such a dense fog of synths, though. “Faded Heart” could get radio play in the 90s and, sped up just a touch, at clubs in the same decade. It follows “Secret Days,” a more up-to-date take on that sound, making the pairing feel like a lesson in musical evolution.
The beat on “Lovefingers” is aquatic, like it's pulsing from deep underwater, which make a comparison of Alejandra Deheza's vocals to siren song all the more apt. The alluring quality stands out on that song in particular, but then she's always been able to draw people in. The combination of her natural timbre and vocal effects is both mystical and coldly modern.
Of course, the EP won't touch the full-length Ghostory, which was carefully built around a theme and character, but there's impressive depth, for what it is.
Follow Ashley Dean on Twitter: @AshaleyJill