The first time you listen to EXNATIONS’ debut EP ‘Tiny Sound In The Dark,’ it’s effervescence will feel immediate. Pop tones bubble to the surface on track after track in a whirlpool of emotional lyricism. Synth hooks will pour effortlessly through your speakers as you’re pulled into a world of neon pink flamingos, members only jackets, and frank vulnerability.
The three-piece indie-pop band is made up of a handful of Baltimore and Brooklyn musicians (Sal Mastrocola, Taylor Hughes, and John O'Neill), whose music finds life through cross-state collaborations, a reality only possible in an age of file sharing and FaceTiming. EXNATIONS’ sound is a perfect time capsule for 2018: it’s sad, but we’re still dancing. Saturated with lyrical melancholy and buoyant synth and guitar tones, ‘Tiny Sound In The Dark’ finds a place where a little bit of darkness meets a burst of colorful energy to create something explosive and bright.
“It’s a form of mediation for me,” Mastrocola, synth/guitar player and vocalist, told us in April about the experience of writing and performing these songs. “A chance to sit with deep rooted feelings and anxieties, or simply to acknowledge and process feelings in the moment through song.”
It’s that sense of looking inward that creates the emotional dynamism present throughout ‘Tiny Sound In The Dark.’ The trio asks us to join them in a space that’s very intimate on this EP. Most of these songs were written in isolation, put together piece by piece by a band separated by space and brought together by the internet. This EP might be an introduction, but EXNATIONS waste no time in letting us in on their little secrets.