Review of Sci-Fi: The Symposium’s New Single

Today, the Chicago-based alternative rock group, The Symposium released a new single titled Sci-Fi.

The 3 minute track begins with a few seconds of ’50s doo-wop triplets on piano with an easygoing, minimalist drum beat. There is a moment of silence, followed by low, grounding synths and soft, relaxed vocals. About a minute and a half into the song, the guitar chimes in with beachy, island vibes. Throughout the entire song, the piano and synths ground the track by following the same chord progression. The slow tempo combined with these elements creates an easy-going mood that evokes a feeling of nostalgia for the listener.

Their track, along with pretty much all of their other releases, reminds me of late summer nights back in high school, driving through my hometown with the windows down, feeling the sticky, humid air whistling in my ears and whooshing past my bare arms. It’s the loneliness and angst that would come after a night of underage drinking and sneaking around with a couple of friends in the public park. It sounds like the stillness on a quiet road. Sci-Fi is quiet rebellion.

I would describe The Symposium’s overall sound as a stoner-pop, psychedelic version of The Strokes during their early stages. They combine psychedelic rock with early 2000s garage/indie rock, usually adding some light synths and fuzzy vocals, and even peppering in some falsetto.

I admire the way The Symposium is able to conjure these memories by combining these different styles and sounds. However, to me, it sounds very similar to all of their other music. I would love to hear the group take more risks, perhaps by creating tracks with a faster tempo, including unexpected or unique chord progressions, playing with the balance of synths, or more variation in lyrics and theme.

Since their style is easy to follow and generally pretty predictable, I also want to hear more tension or even some dissonance or distortion. I already love what The Symposium has released, but they need to stay alive and relevant; they’re too good to not be exploring different sounds and experimenting with their music.

Though I’d like to hear some changes, the group has stayed consistent in their style and perhaps they are simply staying true to who they are and what they want to create, and that is still something I respect. I definitely think the group is underrated and deserves more attention.

Spotify: The Symposium
Website: The Symposium Band
Facebook: The Symposium
Instagram: @thesymposium

Published by Aika Ishimori

Aika Ishimori is an Arts Management student at the College of Charleston with a concentration in Music Industry and minors in Geology and Religious Studies. Although she is a classically trained violinist and enjoys strumming out her favorite tunes on guitar, she prefers engaging in the production side of the industry, rather than the performance side. In her free time, Aika enjoys creating visual art and practicing the martial art of Kendo, a form of Japanese sword-fighting.

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