The Invisible | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024  

The Invisible

At First Glance

Feb 01, 2009 Photography by Derrick Santini The Invisible
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The Invisible don’t sound like anyone else. The comparison points all come with a but or a kind-of. How often does this happen in this day and age of constant cataloguing, categorizing, and pigeonholing? In a gun-to-the-head situation, TV on the Radio would be mentioned for their singularity, and Brian Eno’s production as a sonic jump-off point, but…

Lead singer Dave Okumu brings up Eno’s work with Bowie and Talking Heads as well as artists as varied as Prince, Radiohead, Arthur Russell, Kraftwerk, Shuggie Otis, and J Dilla, among many others. “I think our sound is very ambitious, in the sense that it endeavors to encapsulate and reflect several different things,” Okumu says. “When I think of Prince or The Beatles or Radiohead, I hear artists who bring together many different influences in a very personal way.” Prince can be heard in the slinky funk of “Ok” and Talking Heads can be heard in the hard-picked guitar and shuffling percussion in “London Girl.”

While The Invisible have great admiration for producers like Eno and J Dilla, the band has a great producer of their own, electronic musician Matthew Herbert. It was the Herbert connection that sparked the genesis for the band. Drummer Leo Taylor had toured with Herbert and later introduced his old friend Okumu to Herbert. Okumu joined them on their next tour, and wrote songs all the while. The Invisible was originally conceived as an Okumu solo record, but soon enough, he, Taylor, and Tom Herbert, Londoners who all knew each other from school, had gelled to the extent that a band was born. They soon landed supporting gigs for Hot Chip, The Faint, and Foals.

Matthew Herbert’s touches are evident throughout The Invisible. As Okumu says, “Matthew really facilitated this record. He basically supported us in our efforts to do what we wanted to do.” The band recorded for a week in a medieval cottage in Suffolk, laying down rhythm tracks and the basic framework, which they bulked up and built around for the next year. “It was like inventing your own language,” Okumu says.

Without sounding like he’s reading from his journal, Okumu writes lyrics that further separate The Invisible from their contemporaries. He rarely stoops to platitudes or clichés. On the first single, “Monster’s Waltz,” Okumu paints a portrait of a character who rails against complicity but struggles with the alienation of this fight: “Conflicts and antagonism, are no stranger to him/ familiar is the shifting, from night to day to night again/and he would find the tide, and swim against it.” Okumu points to “In Retrograde,” The Invisible’s opening track, as his favorite. “Somehow it sums up all of the elements represented on the album,” he says. “I’m trying to describe my relationship to time. Sometimes things feel like they’re moving so slowly, it’s almost as if they’re moving backwards. And I struggle and strive to find the patience to deal with that. But, at the same time, my days can feel so full that each day is like a year.” Whether it’s a day that feels like a year or a day that passes in a moment, The Invisible’s calendar is about to get a lot more crowded.


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April 23rd 2009

I love this band!!!!

April 23rd 2009

I love this band