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The breezy lead single “1904” was our first indication of this. It arrived in May like a shimmering invitation, with all the upbeat catchiness of the Tallest Man singles that came before, but ultimately a more foreboding substratum. Pressed against the superficial allure are aftershocks of death and guilt: “When believing is hard but you go now, and you feel what you drag across the floor.” Now, with the entire framework of There’s No Leaving Now in view, “1904” appears the cornerstone of the album it announced. Throughout, Matsson’s guitar work is a whirring force, at once complimentary and distracting as his growl does the gritty work: leaping to a mottled falsetto,

BEhold, This dreamer! (Thieving Irons) Thieving Irons

where the brevity of life and exasperating relationships demand a firm nuance.

“The giving up goes away with time.” There are

Mattson depicts moral breakdown as inevitable,

many lingering sentiments that trickle down or

but he says as much for the bounce back, which is

billow up during Behold, This Dreamer!, the quietly

where he sounds most eloquent. —Alyssa Pereira

immersive second album by Brooklyn’s Thieving Irons. But this one, from the punchy “So Long,” leaps out like a revelation. Before and after that line, bandleader Nate Martinez actually builds a case for giving up: he bids adieu to purposeless gazing, to dragging feet on the sidewalk, to fantasy. “If we could walk on water,” he sings, we could “do away with time.” But we can’t, of course. And although much of Thieving Irons’ second album is resplendent with vague sensations, and Martinez isn’t above suspending reality to achieve them with his lyrics, Behold, This Dreamer! is most concerned with how we spend our reality. Its resolutions arrive in unspecific patterns, like hints or faint sensations, and they’re as carefully veiled as the gossamer sounds on this album. As in the title-track, where Martinez’s murmur echoes within spacious floor-toms and curious trickles of electronics, the ideas coming fast and muted. It’s only the tail end of the chorus—“Through the wires



Kelli Scarr, Christian Scott, Liars, FIDLAR, The Maccabees