IAN SWEET: Show Me How You Disappear (Polyvinyl) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, September 27th, 2023  


Show Me How You Disappear


Mar 18, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Los Angeles native Jilian Medford, who records and performs under the name IAN SWEET, has an incredibly soothing and angelic voice. While she’s been compared to Charly Bliss’ Eva Hendricks, her crystalline tone and breathy enunciation have an evocative timbre that makes her voice play like an instrument of its own.

On Show Me How You Disappear, Medford oscillates jarringly between harsh whirliness (“My Favourite Cloud,” “Show Me How You Disappear”) and delicate, romantic imagery (“Dumb Driver,” “I See Everything”). While both have at least some level of merit when complemented by her incredibly smooth and luscious voice, neither is captivating enough to warrant the amount of rope that’s given here.

On “Get Better,” Medford whispers her way through raw, visceral stanzas that are accompanied by a lovely, tremolo-drenched mix (“I keep choking on my spit/I should just shut up and swallow it”), a juxtaposition that jumps off the page for the shear courage it takes to make it work. On “Drink the Lake,” modestly bouncy harmonies follow a steady strutting backbeat to a chorus that is both dreamy and driving.

Still, despite most of the tracks being driven by aggressive, electronic rhythms, a lot of them don’t actually feel that rhythmic. Save for “Sword,” the record’s infectiously catchy and quirky third track, the bulk of the arrangements are thin and overpowered by thumping beats that exist without much musicality. It’s that lack of purposeful depth that contributes to the pedestrian shallowness of the majority of the album.

As a whole, Show Me How You Disappear demonstrates a significant amount of promise, but gets muddied up by perpetual overexposure. It’s by no means an unpleasant or regrettable album, just one that doesn’t highlight the qualities that make Medford such a captivating artist. (www.iansweetmusic.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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