Faced With Splendor [12-inch; Lo Bit Landscapes]

Is this the same Nihiti that has put out a few full-lengths of busy, beat-munching, dare-I-say skittering experimental/electronics-tinged bliss? Faced With Splendor is all-acoustic, all-mellow, all the time, replete with trumpet toots, string swishes, and mini-jangles that couldn’t be more different than what I’ve heard of their long-players. Maybe this is Nihiti’s Jar of Flies/Sap? Rest assured: The water is warm. Strums over drums, to start, and I don’t miss ‘em a bit in this case, as they could easily muck up what turn out to be decent arrangements when laid bare. The aforementioned strings swoop in/out, as is the wont with most folk-related projects you hear these days. At times, they are a bit upfront for how superfluous they are; you could prune them from a few of these tunes with little, if any, consequence. No denying these melodies, and the mood is grim but not played to the hilt, which was a good choice. If all Nihiti’s albums sounded like Faced with Splendor, there would be the all-too-familiar risk of a polite, “No, thanks!” but seeing as this was a slight detour, it sort of sweetens the pot a little to know they can turn their backs on their “sound” for a bit and keep it together.


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