Digital duo Morgan Shinshtine and Matt Tyson have never met in person – but that hasn’t put a damper on their creative chemistry. With Shinshtine providing guitars and bass, Tyson providing drums and vocals, and both contributing keys and synths, they have been releasing music under the name Relative Rabbit for years and have several projects under their belt.
The band’s newest release is an album titled Curios for the Curious. A record that took two years to bring to life, the band tells us the album is rooted in the concept of virtual reality and human interactions in an increasingly online world. Combining modern, progressive, and classic rock tones, Curios For The Curious is a comprehensive look into the identifiable boundary-pushing style that the pair embraces across the work.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Opening with New Messiah, we’re quickly introduced to a spacey, anthemic, digitally-driven soundscape that settles into a syncopated prog-rock groove. The vocals from Tyson have a particularly retro feel, bringing ’60s era classics to mind as the track drives through unorthodox melodies and a variety of accompanying textures.
The synths opening Driving Nails are absolutely hypnotic, and the vocals that join shortly thereafter are the perfect dreamlike complement. The track moves between two distinct sounds, a soft, almost melancholy section and a brighter, bouncier counterpart. The juxtaposition of these tones makes for an interesting, story-like listening experience. Don’t sleep on the guitar solo in this one – its simplicity and gentleness capture the essence of that softer section of this track.
We find on occasion a hint of psychedelic influence on this project, showcased early in When Reality is Gone. Like much of their work, this track begins with a particularly identifiable feeling before morphing into something more complex. In this case, it starts as a spacey, loose ballad, slowly adding rich harmonies and moments of guitar until it builds into something fully jam-band inspired – and then morphs again into powerful and menacing hard rock, before they walk us back and we run the gamut again.
We also love A Super Nova Dream for its acoustic-lead, angelic intro that evolves into something tense and dramatic, as well as Tell A Lie for bringing ’80s-inspired synths to the forefront over layers of driving hard rock tones.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK…
The choir of harmonies that introduces us to Let Me Entertain You is immediately attention-grabbing. But the production beyond keeps you hooked – the staccato, short-form lyrics in the verses, the crunchy, infectious guitar riffs, the memorable hook, the militaristic rhythm breakdown in the bridge. From the eclectic harmonies to the tasteful integration of the keys low in the mix for added texture – this is an exercise in boundary-pushing prog-rock.
Not to be overlooked is the story at hand in this track. There’s plenty of great songwriting to be found in this project, but this track stands out in particular for its succinct and descriptive look into the immediacy and addictive nature of the online world:
“Click here, submit
Shake a wrist, Fitbit
You can get another, haven’t you heard
You’re in the pleasure dome
Just say the word.”
Relative Rabbit is decidedly unafraid to work diligently outside the realm of expectation. Boldly exploring complex and unexpected arrangements tied together by strong melodies, this virtual duo has created something that is wholly original. Curios for the Curious will no doubt resonate with progressive and modern rock fans who delight in finding a band holding true to their artistic expression above nearly all else, exploratory in its design and captivating in its execution.
BELOW: Listen to Curios for the Curious and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support Relative Rabbit by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
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