From their baby steps as a math-pop band on 2011 EP Ghost Ride The Whip to their dabblings with post-rock, shoegaze, prog and hip hop on Slept And Did Not Sleep, Ninetails have never shied away from drastic artistic evolution. On Quiet Confidence the Liverpool trio have finally hit the confluence of cerebral experimentalism and pop nous they have been seeking all along.
Opener Radiant Hex expertly mixes sound collage and sparse guitar licks with spoken-word vocals and field recordings. It is at once intimate and disorientating, with a directness to its melody parts that belies the dense accompaniment.
An Aria is the centrepiece of the cycle; there’s almost a taste of Tubular Bells II’s more elated moments in the harmonised guitars and syncopated rhythms, but it’s a track for the Spotify generation – capricious in influence and restless in execution. O For Two has existed in their live sets for some time, but its final recorded version is drastically different, even if the intro retains a hint of Ninetails’ last release.
The trio have always been an enigma to the listener, but to the explorer stumbling across Quiet Confidence, the results speak for themselves. Stunning.