Living on opposite sides of the country, songwriter Aaron Mendelsohn and producer Ariel Loh have declared themselves unstoppable as the persevering driving forces of Drinker. Inspired by the laidback reverbs of Bon Iver and James Blake, Drinker pens the most reflective of lyrics in their chilling tunes. The underrated duo’s minimalistic-pop soundscape is truly breathtaking, and we’re blown away with every astonishing release–especially their noteworthy debut album, Fragments.
The haunting narrative shared through Fragments isn’t necessarily something we haven’t heard before, but Drinker takes it one step further by incorporating expansive electronics and eerie synthesizers that certainly make this experimental album unique to its own. Opening with the distinctive “Follow,” Fragments explores indecision and confusion as a prevalent motif throughout the reflective record. In the hypnotizing chorus, Drinker encourages listeners to join them in their unpredictable journey through not only Fragments, but through life as well. Leading into their trademark dulcet tones, “Holiday” sees the duo embracing the freedom of releasing ourselves from demanding responsibilities that cause our inevitable downfalls.
Although we may not notice our personal growth on a daily basis, “Wave” showcases the rare moments when we get the chance to reflect on our notable progression. “Something I Want” introduces us to a darker side of Drinker by way of evocative electronics and expressive percussion, as they dive deep into the psychological repercussions of society’s influence on our decisions. The sorrowful “California” details Mendelsohn’s disenchanting transition between New York and Los Angeles as he realizes that not everything is as clear as he expected it to be.
A delicate piano-led ballad, “Fragment I” instigates us to acknowledge a player we haven’t given much thought to in the rest of the Fragments: the human mind and its habit to reminisce on the daunting past. “Fragment II” continues with this notion as Mendelsohn revisits the brutal turmoil of a past relationship. Layered with beautiful acoustic strumming, “Model” urges us to appreciate our surroundings by letting go of the useless definition of success we’ve all been blinded by. In under two minutes, “Procession” is the flawless instrumental piece that closes Fragments with animated pianos that leave us with some peace of mind.
On Fragments, Drinker exclusively shared with us,
“‘Fragments’ is a record about disconnection, written and recorded during a time of transition as I moved from New York to LA. It documents my story from an abstract distance, self-aware but subject to a changing state of mind. I use a lot of water imagery in these lyrics as a way of exploring this disconnect. Analog synths and intricate sample-based percussion patterns are the driving forces of the sound; sometimes tight and wound up, sometimes open and free. As an album, it acknowledges strangeness and a feeling of helplessness, all the while offering the joy ad release of submitting yourself to the experience.”
Reflect on life’s vices and virtues with Fragments below: