Diagrams - Chromatics
You may know Sam Genders from London folktronica act Tuung whom he co-founded back in 2003. With that project behind him, Genders relocated to Sheffield with an optimistic eye towards reinvention. His Diagrams moniker is an altogether more kaleidoscopic affair than past work, with the eleven songs that make up second album Chromatics ranging from deeply introspective to squeamishly jubilant.
Opener 'Phantom Power' is a delightful bit of folky power-pop, with Genders showing off his keen ear for a well written chorus. Jangly guitars, whistling, whoo-oooing and analogue electronics are put to good use throughout, but it's his charming, understated vocals that make the whole thing such an effortless listen. “Sometimes the sun is so strong I melt down to juice / Swimming myself in a sticky red pool on the floor/ So full of joy I could burst into chromatic flames,” he sings on the title track, invoking vague, surreal imagery which only continues to great effect as the album progresses. This isn't a particularly surprising record, nor is it very different to a lot of other stuff out currently, but it does happen to be a really pleasant listen. Like Genders' songwriting it manages to hit home without causing too much of a fuss.