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These New Puritans Inside the Rose Infectious Music

These New Puritans have made a career out of difference, often pushing the sonic senses of listeners to extremes as they delve into the deconstructed, the abstract and the obscure. “I want music that sharpens you,” TNPs’ Jack Barnett said in a recent interview, adding that music should “amplify your nervous system.” The description couldn’t be more apt for Inside the Rose, their first LP since 2013’s Field of Reeds.

The band, now recording as the core duo of Jack and twin brother George, heighten our senses with everything from frenetic vibraphones, synapse-tingling orchestral strings, anxiety-inducing drones and heavenly choral hums. It’s a bold and typically brave offering.

“The imagination is not a state, it is human existence itself,” the duo recently said, quoting William Blake, the inspiration for one of the album’s standout songs, Anti-Gravity. But it could well be the album’s manifesto. Exploring the imagination in all its conflicting states from inspiration to insecurity (Inside the Rose), beauty to decay (A-R-P) and heaven and hell (Into the Fire), it feels at times like the album is the imagination personified, inviting a musing on the very concept of artistic creation itself.