Near Earth Objects preps first full-length album, ‘Drift,’ for liftoff

Cincinnati group's uniquely textured Indie Rock sound is wonderfully orchestrated and hypnotic on its debut

Aug 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

click to enlarge Near Earth Objects' debut full-length, 'Drift' - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Near Earth Objects' debut full-length, 'Drift'
Cincinnati Indie Rock foursome Near Earth Objects celebrates the release of its impressive full-length debut, Drift, this Saturday with a free show at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, Chicago’s Bailiff opens the night at 10 p.m.

Drift is a compelling collection of wonderfully orchestrated Indie Rock songs that lean heavily to the psychedelic side while still retaining a strong melodic structural core. Hypnotic without being meandering, Near Earth Objects’ broad, soaring soundscapes showcase the band’s individual talents and how well those skills fuse together, the obvious result of the bonding chemistry between the musicians.

Singer/guitarist Devin Clarke provides not only the dynamic, passionate vocals, but also the equally multifaceted guitar work, which frequently changes shades to provide colorful but never flashy textures. Drummer Richard Inman provides the anchor for Near Earth Objects’ (space)ship, but, more importantly, his expressive playing plays off the song’s direction with a musicality that gives the music so much more than just a sturdy backbeat. Likewise, Leland Davis’ bass is an indispensable rhythmic component, but, while he can lock into a groove, he’s never restrained by it. Davis also gives the sound extra flourishes with his imaginative keyboard/synth contributions. Daniel Walton was the last member to join Near Earth Objects, and it was a wise artistic addition — his majestic cello riffs give the band an even more unique personality.

While such layering might suggest a busy, noisy, clamorous sound, Near Earth Objects’ arrangement style leaves a lot of pockets of space, which gives the music its atmospheric and ethereal character. That roominess also makes the movements within stand out more dramatically, so that each shift in tone and emotion has a greater impact. While the group has some similarities to Shoegazer bands, Near Earth Objects’ aesthetic is less “wall of sound” and more “chiffon curtain of sound elegantly fluttering in the wind.” The band certainly rocks, but it never strives to overwhelm, preferring to engage more cerebrally and seductively. If you have a space in your record collection between Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Secret Machines, The Arcade Fire, Pink Floyd, Explosions in the Sky, Swervedriver and Autolux, Drift is the perfect fit.

For more on Near Earth Objects, visit