The Last Mixed Tape reviews CCTV, the sophomore studio album from Columbian Mills.
There’s a great isolation that sprawls across Columbia Mills’ CCTV. The very sound of the album is one of large spaces, distant echoes and stark dynamic tidal shifts that engulf this thematic second offering from the group, working as a piece that plays with mood and emotion in a way that populates the music with catharsis.
Building on from the weighty indietronica of their 2017 debut A Safe Distance to Watch, CCTV finds Columbia Mills expanding the sheer scale of the music via a production that allows their music the room to breath before hitting with the impact of the album’s more dynamic moments. From the open patient build of opening track ‘Car Crash TV’, where every element feels separate but essential, the group lay the foundations for the textural and rhymical push and pull that runs right through CCTV.
This gives way to the more overt pulsating tempo of ‘Understand’ which ensures CCTV doesn’t stagnate within its own turbulent atmospherics, while also giving the record a sense of dynamic scale. This forward motion can also be seen in the tense ‘Trees’ and spiraling synths of ‘Isolate’ and is contrasted the slow-motion indie of ‘You’re Not The Answer’ and texturally deep finale ‘Mirror On The Front Seat’.
An album about lost connections, separation and regret, CCTV bridges the introspective songwriting of Columbia Mills with a production that follows the emotionally stormy ebb and flow of the music. Twist and turning, slowing and speeding up, the album carries with it the same impact that its lyrical themes aspire to. Making for a cohesive melding of words and sound.
And so it goes, Columbia Mills returns with a record that builds and expands on what came before it. Replacing all-out impact for intriacte nuance, CCTV is the kind of album to take on a long late night drive and listen to from start to finish.
CCTV by Columbia Mills is due for release on April 17th.