There’s always something quirky about the artists signed to Asthmatic Kitty Records. For Cryptacize, who joined the Asthmatic family about two years ago, their quirkiness is in their simplistic, clever sound and carefree, humorous presentation of themselves. Their first music video, “Cosmic Sing-a-Long,” featured a glorified cowbell scene and kumbaya still shots of the band members playing together.
The band’s non-serious, comical image of themselves was matched with their first album’s simplicity, but as Cryptacize continues to find themselves, their second album, Mythomania, reveals new dimensions and depth, which only build on their initial signature sound. Though many artists have suffered from a lost disjointedness in their second albums, Cryptacize elevates the dreamy quality to their music, reinventing themselves with fresh vocal and instrumental relationships, while maintaining the unique qualities that brought them to their prolific record label in the first place.
Mythomania, presents a band recognizing and coming closer to fulfilling their talent. The first track of the album, “Tail and Mane” starts off in a complicated hurry with guitars imitating the sound of accordions and ruined cassette tape. When the song gets going, the instrumentals carry on with eager excitement, while Nedelle Torrisi’s vocals glide with unassuming ease and freedom. Her voice floats above the background, airy but not breathy, like many of her fellow female indie rock musicians sometimes are guilty of. The juxtaposition of speedy instruments with slow, melodic vocals is a consistent component of the album, creating a sound that can make you either want to groove, sing along passionately, or both, simultaneously.
Though the tone of Torrisi’s voice remains calm and placid regardless of subject matter, a closer listen reveals intriguing lyrics and piques one’s curiosity. In “New Spell,” she sings, “The world may want to change/But for now it’s still the same,” a striking proclamation—yet the significance of which is masked by her languid exterior. Overall, the use of this tone creates an interesting relationship with the theatrical giddiness of the instrumentals, off shooting it so that it remains theatrical and exciting, but clever instead of ridiculous.
With every listen of Mythomania, more and more is revealed about Cryptacize. While other albums can become one dimensional and lose depth after listened to more than a few times, Mythomania unfolds to display ideas and depth too great to take in on one listen, or even two. This album is one that a listener can grow with just as the band itself grows into their own sound.