The best, most perfect piece of music on the planet lately. The only song you need to hear. Until tomorrow.
I remember when Time & Space came out in 2018, and it left me feeling like Turnstile was a band on the verge of a masterpiece. Not that T&S wasn’t great, it was, and won so many people over to the Baltimore hardcore project that probably never felt that genre was welcome to them before. But it was so succinct, compact even, that it made me want to hear them stretch out, get woozy and weird. Maybe even bring in other voices to contrast with Brendan Yates’ perfect yearning. Well, that’s basically exactly what they did for Glow On, teasing it out first with an EP, Turnstile Love Connection, and culminating in what amounts to the best album of the year.
Glow On is actually only about ten minutes longer than Time & Space — 34 minutes compared to 25 minutes — which gives you a sense of how carefully constructed these songs are. It’s tempting to choose “T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection)” as the standout track strictly for the way it incorporates lines from the ’70s funk classic “Thank You (For Letting Me By Myself)” or if you’re really in the groove “Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again.
Instead, “Alien Love Call” wins out not just because it’s such a flex for a hardcore band to collaborate with Blood Orange, but because it points toward all the directions they could go in from here. Slower, longer, arguably sadder, encapsulating all things woozy, “Alien Love Call” drills down to the reason most people I know who are obsessed with music listen to it in the first place: Can’t be the only one. Dev’s interlude hits like a dream — loners out to roam — and Brendan’s question or lament or promise echoes into space, never quite answered, in ringing salute to all the fellow aliens.