Review: Size 85 High Tops’ ‘Get Loose’ Is the Band’s Art Rock Opus

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If you took pictures of the best murals, the ones that are highly intricate and full of color and then made them into a slideshow, then fed them to a musician and his 10-year-old daughter and said, “Make these sing,” you would get Size 85 High Tops’ album Get Loose. This collection of art rock is a collage that sings with colorful harmonies, tastes of candy-coated confections, and swirls with gorgeous mixes of instruments and melodies that range from jazz to grunge, country to classical, electronic to simple pop melodies, all of which are richly developed with sumptuous harmonies.

Fronted by Myra and Jesse Keyes, this Portland-based band rocks out with songs that are smart and wonderfully delivered. They are clearly not newbies to the scene, and their roots run deep with contributions on their album from people like Jenny Conlee (of the Decemberists), Kyleen King (Heartless Bastards), and Joel Bocek (Bubble Cats), just to name a few. This sophisticated offering is more than what you expect from having a 10 year old in the band. The vocals and layering of instruments provide a vastly rich listening experience.

This album is expertly laid out, beginning with the luscious “Long Ago” and flowing effortlessly to “Lyin’.” Each track is a solid and beautiful offering, rising and falling with thick harmonies, doubled vocals, funky and subtle artistic punctuations. If you are a fan of art rock, this will satisfy every fiber in your being. There’s the rocking “Table Girl,” the deeply gorgeous “Madrona,” the jazz-infused saxophone solo in “Lyin’,” Just too many great moments to list from each track. From the country-esque “Hills of Home” to the quirky “Long Ago (No Goodbye),” Get Loose will leave you warm feeling and beautifully satisfied.

(Get Loose is available through Size 85 High Tops’ Bandcamp page under a name-your-price pay model, or you can purchase it from CD Baby in physical format. You can stream the album below.)

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