Album review: A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals

Furio Gerwitz, Volunteer DJ

“A Tiny House, In Secret Speeches, Polar Equals” is the latest album by American duo Sweet Trip, released on May 28. The album is their first major release since 2009’s “You Will Never Know Why.” Sonically, the group began as an electronic act in the late 90s before subsequent releases increasingly integrated rock influences. “A Tiny House” represents a synthesis of the group’s musical history, being as much psych rock as it is glitchy IDM. The tracks vary as to how they balance the two but tend towards warm and intricate guitar-driven tracks which integrate synthesizers and electronic percussion.

Photo courtesy of Darla Records.

Tiny Houses: A warm, glitchy track that progresses to a guitar and synthesizer dense midsection, before a slow, sparse outro.

Surviving a Smile: A more traditional pop track led by a persistent bass line, ending on a dense and varied finish.

The Weight of Comfort, This Rain is Comfort, This Rain is You: A downtempo, jazz-inspired track featuring a prominent drum and piano section before a hazy finish.

In Sound, We Found Each Other: A midtempo, largely acoustic track featuring a persistent bassline and distant piano chords.

Chapters: A glitchy, uptempo electronic track featuring interspersed acoustic sections.

Eave Foolery Mill Five: A longer track that begins with a sparse, guitar-driven section before progressing to a dense finish featuring heavy use of synthesizers.

Snow Purple Treasures: A subdued track with an acoustic and string-driven intro before progressing to an electric guitar-driven outro.

Come Spend the Night: A sparse, somber track featuring prominent vocals and subdued instrumentation.

Randfilt: A chaotic, experimental electronic instrumental track that begins largely ambient, before abruptly progressing to a dense, glitchy peak. 

You: A slow, heavy psych rock-cut, with a sparse intro and a dense, glitchy outro.

Walkers Beware! We Drive into the Sun: An upbeat, acoustic guitar-driven track with a synth-heavy close.

Zafire Melts the Heart in Modulation: An instrumental interlude featuring a strumming guitar, manic percussion, and a distant synth.

Polar Equals: A multipart track opening with a sparse, guitar section that progresses to an abrasive rock section before closing on a glitchy IDM section.

At Last a Truth That is Real: A slower track with a choral, organ-driven intro and a rapid, drum-heavy rock outro.

While I do enjoy “A Tiny House,” as a fan of Sweet Trip I feel somewhat conflicted. This release is certainly the least exploratory in their lineup, with the duo instead mostly drawing from the high points of their discography with minor updates afforded by modern production. This leads to a few tracks which uncannily echo older cuts, but equally so to several intricate and extremely well-crafted tracks that refine and explore the group’s sound. The duo has a unique approach to their music which largely avoids categorization, though I’ve tried my best. The album is certainly worth a listen, though if you enjoy it I’d recommend their past two albums over this one.

Ultimately, I give “A Tiny House” 3/5 Spinnaker Sails.

Standout Tracks: Surviving a Smile, Eave Foolery Mill Five, Randfilt, Polar Equals