One thing to know about Leaving Richmond is that its prinicpal, Jordan Pier, has been killing it lately in getting his music picked up for various television and commercial projects. That’s because his work is bright, catchy, cool, and memorable. It’s shiny post-rock with energy to spare, and it’s in full view on The Antique Heart. If you don’t find yourself reaching for the volume knob and doing a little chair-dancing in the high-speed, glitchy glow of “The Electronic Afterlife,” consult a physician. This undeniable groove lifts up out of a lounge-ready drum loop and cool chords. As Pier laces in a faster beat, he matches it with quick guitar riffs, then offsets it further with slower, silky lines. The pace shifts, with a nice drop midway. A nice adrenaline injection. Its velocity carries into “Freezing Light,” a minimal electronic piece built around stretching pads and an insistently pulsing beat. It also makes for an interesting style interruption, steering us away from the more straight-up post rock.The Western gallop of “Waiting for Another Heartbeat” is just charming, and the perfect foil for a backdrop of small-combo strings. A repeating guitar phrase anchors it, and a bridge of simple chords breaks it up neatly. “You Will Be Safe Here” catches my ear by having part of its melody include a four-note phrase that sounds like Ultravox’s “Reap the Wild Wind.” Beyond that, its easy, shuffling lounge beat, deep layers, and crisp guitar lines just walk coolly forward, and I gladly follow. The title track enters on a downtempo keyboard pulse and some techno-style textures. Swelling strings, guitar, and bounce-around-your-head chime tones round it out. Add a mid-track drop, and you’ve got another round of joy.
The Antique Heart is a half-hour of feel-good post-rock with Pier’s ample talent on display. Stick it into your favorite shuffle for quick doses of energy that will stay in your head all day. I’ve yet to hear a Leaving Richmond track that doesn’t make me inexplicably happy. Soundtrack-worthy and here to please, The Antique Heart is a must-hear for post-rock fans.
Available from Bandcamp.