Titles Bow Out With Charming Finale, 'Modern Sounds in Science Fiction'

The coming and going of bands is an inevitable part of music — sunrise, sunset and all — but the Connecticut music scene has been hit with some lamentable goings, from New London punk veterans the Reducers to Hartford chamber folkies Heirlooms and, now, Titles, which is readying the release of “Modern Sounds in Science Fiction,” an album that mastermind Brad Amorosino says will likely be his last as Titles. (A very limited vinyl run of the album will be available through Safety Meeting Records.)

Actually, Titles has been gone from Connecticut for a few years already: Amorosino moved to California after the group released a stunning 2010 album, “Dirt Bell.” He’s pretty much the only full-time member left on “Modern Sounds,” which Amorosino recorded on his own in San Francisco before sending the songs back to Connecticut for additional contributions. The album expands on “Dirt Bell” with intimate, entropic songs that are catchy and charmingly cluttered. Guitars and keyboards tumble over each other in thick layers that surround Amorosino’s drowsy voice, and the effect is like being enveloped within some whirring mechanical creation with its own internal logic and beauty.

Atmospheric synths complement chiming guitars and a swooping slide part on the wondrous “Stone Boat,”  gritty, bell-like guitars ring out on “Starry Night” and keyboards pulse like a rapid heartbeat  on “Mountain.” There’s a different sort of pulsing on “Nothing,” the longest song on the album at nearly six minutes, with waves of guitar noise washing over a softly insistent beat topped with a repeating keyboard figure.

While much of “Modern Sounds in Science Fiction” feels like a meditation on distance, there’s a low-key optimism in Titles’ elegy when Amorosino sings “be not afraid” on a song by that name. It’s a reminder, in its way, that even reluctant farewells need not be sad.


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