My experience with Chicago’s In Tall Buildings has been an interesting one. I fell in love at a 2012 SXSW Send Off at the Hideout. In Tall buildings went on next-to-last, and even after an entire day’s worth of concert-going, I was absolutely hypnotized by his performance. The layering, the soundscapes, the mood… The next few years had been filled with near-misses and bad traffic, all preventing me from seeing a live performance again, but building up the experience in my head to unheard of highs.

Even after all the time spent waiting and replaying In Tall Buildings, the newest track unveiled off of the upcoming album is exactly how I was hoping it’d be. “Flare Gun” is a song that’s as atmospheric and airy as I remember. This time around, though, the music seems to take a less melancholy, more uplifting tone. With an intro that sounds like it’s straight out of the 80s, it initially gave me the impression In Tall Buildings had gone a different direction entirely. The song curves back in seconds, aligning with the sound of the self-titled debut album. Erik Hall is quite simply, a master of layering sounds and instrumental melodies into a composition that seems to breathe and swell all on its own. Electronic instrumentation burbles, and soft melodies float between the rest of the mix and Erik’s vocals. They end abruptly, leaving the instrumentation to trickle off and end on its own.

That’s it. It’s everything I’ve been waiting for, and I still want more. Fortunately for us, we will get more, on February 17th with the release of Driver. Let us know what you think of In Tall Buildings’ return in the comments section below.

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