Chicago-based Floatie, Exploding In Sound’s newest signee, announce their debut album, Voyage Out, out March 26th. Alongside the announcement, they present its lead single “Catch a Good Worm.” Sam Bern (they/them), Luc Schutz (he/him), Joe Olson (he/him), and Will Wisniewski (he/him) have been playing shows and making music together for nearly a decade, but it wasn’t until 2018 that Floatie came to light. It’s a collaborative effort of dear friends that is both exceptionally tight and radiantly enjoyable. Throughout Voyage Out, the band tackle questions of personal choice and acceptance over an ever shifting landscape of knotted progressions and dreamy technicality.
Floatie take a visionary approach toward creating music that can feel both tangled and hypnotic, challenging and comforting, all at the same time. Each member’s contributions fuse together to create a sound that relies as much on austere construction as it does on finding joy in their time spent together. Voyage Out never fails to share those human feelings, even if often done from a more alien perspective. In “Catch A Good Worm,” Bern’s voice hovers over taut percussion, urgent guitar and murky synths: “Bright lights spreading vast and wide, beings at the gate / Rewind, cut off their supply, now we can escape.” The search for personal identity and a place in society can be felt throughout songs that dazzle with a somber charm which feels both reflective and wide-eyed. Bern expands on the single: “Two options could never represent the complexity of human expression. I think a lot of people could benefit from not having predetermined expectations of themselves in place upon arrival. Sometimes the pressures of challenging these patterns make me think this is how I was born so that is who I’m meant to be. When the reality is I can work towards being whoever I want.”
After gaining support in the close-knit local music scene, the band recorded Voyage Out at Chicago’s Pallet Sound with Seth Engel. The result is an album that’s as expansive as it is repetitive and as weird as it is inescapable. It weaves together riffs and rhythms with an extraterrestrial precision and a cosmic grace. It’s in their determined commitment to find self-assurance that Floatie reside. Yet the band does so without dissonance and abrasive feedback, instead relying on their mesmerizing connectivity.