Sometimes, music is most powerful stripped down to its essentials: stark, raw, straightforward chords, drums that sound like wood hitting skin, bass you could lay flooring on, and vocals that make the noise of a human actually experiencing something right at that moment.
This music isn’t that. Because other sometimes, music is most powerful as a huge, seemingly chaotic, widescreen vision, full of organs and violins and horns and vocal harmonies and more chords than you can chart. That seems to be the premise of the Hidden Messages, a five-piece band, London-based band whose natural exuberance spills out all over the place (thanks, Neil!).
Curiously, the band has simultaneously released two EPs, both titled Animal Actors (subtitled “1” and “2” and for sale here) – I’m not sure whether to think of this as a single album, divided into two parts in the manner of your old-school LPs, or as two separate, shorter releases. Doesn’t matter: what does is that I had the hardest time narrowing down which tracks to highlight here. Ultimately I chose three that represent the Hidden Messages’ range (although one or two tracks also get a bit quieter than any of these). This is one of those releases that keeps tempting me to hit replay and diverts other music in my listening queue with its insistence on being heard again.