– featured image courtesy of tory williams –
alex frenkel’s work as caicos is doused in vibrant polychrome, its rock-solid pop foundations meandering through fields of bucolic folk, minefields of electronica, and the abstractions of art rock. our first taste of frenkel’s debut project came this spring in the form of “turned again (crux)”; the new york songwriter is now gearing up for the release of promised lands, a seven-song extended play sprawling beyond its twenty-five minute run time.
the aptly-titled opening number, “watercolor (mala),” is packed with saturated hues, a thematic distillation that prefaces many of the tropes that subsequently appear. while the coursing second single, “vega,” feels like the project’s largest sonic outlier, the straight-ahead misdirection is grounded in the assured coolness of frenkel’s lead vocal, stretching into falsetto with ease and laying the framework for sly future callbacks.
promised lands hits its stride with the soft acoustic shuffle of “southeast,” a relaxing exercise in reassurance that parlays its existence into the first panel of a breezy triptych; “the push and pull” revels in motifs that evaporate in wisps of reversed delay while the standout penultimate cut “salvo” trades acoustic guitars for airy synths and bell-tone counter-melodies. frenkel saves the title track for his finale, a measured rumination that pares back to just a finger-picked acoustic guitar and proves to be just as compelling as its predecessors.
with just seven songs, frenkel is able to turn in a fully-realized presentation of what caicos is: a stirring electro-acoustic project that relishes nuance and rock-solid songwriting perfectly timed for the changing seasons. promised lands is due august 10th via very jazzed, but you can listen to it a few days early right here on the dimestore. dig in.