On the back of a textured guitar melody, we suddenly find ourselves in the trenches of a majestic groove as “Dreamspace,” track one in the new album from Twilight Muse titled A Moment Out of Time. The tone of the instrumentation suggests that catharsis isn’t far away, but at the same time, the smothering feel of the growing harmony tells us something completely different. Things are just getting to a point of consistent stability when Twilight Muse rips the carpet out from beneath our feet in “Oh Mama,” signaling that their primary focus in this album has much less to do with establishing a particular sound they want to be known for than it does pushing the boundaries as much as they can from inside a studio.

“Destination You” picks up the post-pop harmonies of “Dreamspace” and advances them into a surreal dreampop territory that I wouldn’t have thought possible with another band at the helm of the track. This song isn’t the slasher that the potential smash “Electrify Me” is, but let’s face it, not many tracks could have been. “Electrify Me” brings us into the full-color dynamics of Twilight Muse without any safety net to prevent the band from going too far to the left of the dial, and in my opinion, the results of their experimentation here are beyond excellent. They aren’t just unafraid in A Moment Out of Time – this New York band is downright fearless to the very end.

“Electrify Me” pushes forth from the structural narrative into all-out psychedelic pop in a few spots, paving the way for quite a dynamic piece of material in “Forever” to rock us with its extended harmonies – the best of which come just before the falsetto finish around the middle portion of the track. The walls start to close in on us as “Are You In?” comes into view, and while the percussion ebbs and flows with the movement of the strings (instead of the other way around), there isn’t any one element in the mix that outshines the others here. Twilight Muse seems disinterested in the notion of bundling their sound around one particular attribute, and where some critics might consider this too avant-garde for the mainstream, I think this is exactly the type of attitude that pop/rock needs in this new and exciting decade.

Pendulous harmonies and striking elemental noise that trails off into infinity conclude the latter half of “Audacious,” the final song on A Moment Out of Time, but this final strand of chaos doesn’t somehow minimize the impact of the LP’s simpler moments. Twilight Muse might not have meant to do as much, but in this debut album, they bring together a lot of the best elements in post-punk, alternative rock, dream pop, and even noise music without sounding full of themselves for doing so. They’re touching on some textures I’ll be wanting to hear even more of in the next year, and if you give their album A Moment Out of Time a listen yourself, I think you’ll understand why I like it as much as I do.

Garth Thomas