Using music as a device to discuss the qualities and features of physical places, without the assistance of lyrics, sounds like an adventurous concept nonetheless destined for the dustbin. However, in the hands of Montana-based Modality it somehow works. The band’s newest album, Particle City, conjures three-dimensional spaces with an adroitness probably reserved for dudes that grow up in geographically astounding places. Modality’s hometown of Missoula is known as The Hub of Five Valleys for its location at the convergence of five mountain ranges, and the state of Montana is the fourth largest in the US but the seventh least populous. It makes sense that its denizens would have a heightened sensitivity to the different ways space feels when it’s either empty or occupied. This distinction between structure and space comprises Particle City’s main thematic tension, and it uses a template familiar to modern indie and electronica to explore it.
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