One of the most expansive-sounding trios in indie rock, Minmae
started as Sean Brooks' lo-fi singer-songwriter project. After adding fellow Portland, Oregon, musicians Josh Kempa and Chris Calvert, Brooks began supplementing his folksy melodies with psychedelic swirls and sci-fi synthesizers. Minmae's new release, its eighth full-length record in as many years, opens with a largely instrumental epic that devotes most of its nine-minute span to fuzzy feedback and echo effects. The album's French title, Le Grand Essor de la Maison du Monstre
, might intimidate at first, but colorful cover art depicting airborne architecture with ghostly appendages simplifies the translation: The Great Flight of the Monster House
. Similarly, Brooks' calm vocals and the soothing, steady rhythm section keep the songs accessible, even when the guitars shoot for the stratosphere.