ever chance



Dom Lepore

February 25, 2024

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Exhilarating gusts of glitched noise sown into therapeutic pop songs that foster a sense of community

One of the distinct progressions from clust.r’s self-titled debut is the immediate barrage of chopped up, happy-go-lucky chords that populate ever chance. While their former offering was also buoyant in its entirety, it opened with trepidation – a solid thirty seconds of spewed, hesitant static emerged – contrary to ever chance’s instant plunge into vortexing bass-heavy tones, toylike synths, and skewed acoustic guitars. This readiness to experiment owes itself to newfound confidence. Further proving this, ever chance is charmingly packed to the brim with collaborations – the voices of clust.r’s own friends. The cover artwork, then, adopts a new dimension – beneath the crackled, jittery melodies is cohesion, that being celebrating companions you can reach out to. If there’s one thing to draw from this nonstop, hyperactive half-hour of healing, a profoundly special addition to netlabel Business Casual, it is that clust.r is certain of who they are.

Self-actualisation is a prominent through-line in ever chance. That becomes all the more apparent when some astonishing full-circle appearances are recognised. Of particular note is tirestires, a direct inspiration for clust.r’s debut, who has vocal duties on steam and brood – a genuine “working with your hero” moment. Alongside them, every collaborator brings a personal slice of themselves to swim in clust.r’s ruminative pool of emotions, with their lyrical contributions adding to the fervent maximalism. As well, their buried voices submerged in the blaring noise, many almost androgynous, show that their penned experiences of strenuous relationships are universal, irrespective of one’s identity. The initial tirestires collaborative song, steam, touches on escaping intrusive relations like family and the army to gain greater autonomy. proud is a heartfelt track marching to a heavy beat, lyrics questioning what your past self would think of the person you are today. Meanwhile, parasite is a slightly detuned drunken mumbling about coping with being on the receiving end of supposedly trustworthy friends ignoring you. Each brooding catharsis is vulnerable in its own unique way, and comes off with a marked maturity.

Much of this kind of introspection pervades the entire record, as each friend voices their concerns above jubilant, triumphant fits of abrasive kick drums. Lead single imitation is a cacophonous dance pop tune carrying a shining, gleeful edge similar to The Go! Team, with its chimes evoking said band’s lackadaisical carefreeness. us pretenders is another highlight, featuring what is almost a skittering, looped ringtone with a surge of tinny acoustics fortifying the bouncy banger. It veers into emo pop with the cool-spirited vocal delivery and conclusive brash live drum cymbals.

ever chance is clust.r and friends giving their all, scorned and inspired by the trials and tribulations that come with maintaining relationships in an isolating modern world. Questions such as “Am I doing enough?” come to mind when all you largely have to communicate is through text. Even then, the album’s brevity attests to valuing such connections. On the closer ever to part, clust.r themselves sings over a dissolving lullaby, “If our talks were more infrequent, they’d probably mean more.” Savour and nurture your closest online penpals with respect – perhaps this epiphany, sad but ultimately rewarding, is what clust.r feels so certain about.