Covet

Without using a single word, Covet’s music says so much.

On their new release effloresce, the Bay Area trio effortlessly blend instrumental math-rock with elements of post-rock and post-metal, juxtaposing delicate melodies with propulsive rhythms and captivating energy. There’s an inescapable push and pull to the collection, both as a whole and in its individual pieces. It’s a facet of their sound the group rarely explored on their debut EP, 2015’s Currents, but one they’ve harnessed to its maximum potential here.

“Currents was very positive, clean tones,” guitarist Yvette Young explains. “I wanted this album to have more contrast between stuff that sounded happy and grosser sounds. Contrast is so important; it’s such a valuable songwriting tool for building suspense.”

Young—revered by guitarists around the world for her mastery of the innovative two-handed tapping technique—and bassist David Adamiak started Covet in 2014, with Young’s frenzied following providing some crucial early momentum. But old and new fans alike quickly gravitated to Covet’s immaculate, technically dexterous songwriting, and the childhood friends found a home on bills with bands like Chon and Polyphia.

“A lot of the songs on Currents were written when I had first learned electric guitar,” Young says. “I was new to guitar and really excited about being flashy on my instrument, and a lot of the songs I felt were underdeveloped in retrospect. On effloresce, we wanted to be flashy at times but more importantly, we wanted the songs to be memorable and convey a more diverse array of emotions. We wanted to take everything we love about different genres of music and fuse it into our sound, have dancey moments but also have the dynamics and tones of post-rock. And it’s considerably sludgier and heavier than our last release.”

That’s especially noticeable when the jazzy, ethereal “Shibuya” (featuring San Holo) or “Sea Dragon,” which begins as a slow burn only to explode into a groove-heavy swirl of soaring melody, is juxtaposed next to something like the ominous “Gleam.” It makes for a powerful dichotomy and emotional resonance that’s at the heart of Covet’s art. “On this recording, we experiment with different harmony. I believe this helps dictate the sonic change in mood and tone from a recording like Currents,” Adamiak explains. “Working with new chord changes is exciting because it helps bring out different sides of your own melodic voice you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.”

The musical chemistry between Young and Adamiak is so precise yet brimming with extravagance. Helping to fill out that sound is the dynamic drumming of Forrest Rice. His approach adds a driving yet sophisticated percussive foundation to the harmonic tapestry created by Yvette and David. “Forrest’s additions to effloresce are powerful and fluid,” says Adamiak. “His treatment of the challenging rhythmic changes is so hypnotic and musical; it sets my brain on fire with excitement.” Young adds, “[Our music] is so note-filled and busy already that someone has to have really good taste not to overshadow it, you want one cohesive unit. We fill in each other’s gaps.”