Eleven years ago, Gomez unexpectedly took home Britain's Mercury Prize for their brilliant '70s psych-blues-rock-meets-indie-pop debut, Bring It On, an honor that could have overshadowed everything the band subsequently attempted. Rather than succumbing to intimidation or its own perceived reputation, Gomez chose to evolve with each successive release, reinventing their psych-blues recipe with experimental flourishes of electronica, folk and pop. Gomez's last studio album, 2006's How We Operate, was the culmination of the band's history — a cool hybridization of all the styles the quintet has folded into its presentation from the start.
On A New Tide, their first studio album in three years, Gomez blaze similar trails. "Mix" begins by veering between acoustic folk/blues lilt and noisy indie-pop territory until its quiet conclusion. "Win Park Slope" mixes Delta blues slide with sonorous cello and ambient-electronic atmospherics. "Bone Tired" and "Airstream Driver" tread similar ground from Brit-folk and indie-rock directions, respectively, and "Natural Reaction" is the band's attempt to channel a little Tom Waits. Producer Brian Deck brings the evocative sensibility to Gomez that he's provided to the likes of Modest Mouse and Iron and Wine. For all those who were drawn in by How We Operate's expansive palette (and given the title track's exposure on Grey's Anatomy, that number is considerable), A New Tide will satisfy on all those same levels in distinctly new ways. — Baker
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