Hidden Pictures is a band from Kansas who dabble in nearly all areas of rock in their much-awaited first full-length album, Synchronized Sleeping. The guy/girl duo sings mainly upbeat indie pop, but some songs dip into the country rock and the folk sides of the spectrum. They utilize instruments as basic as the guitar, and as unique as the glockenspiel. Because of this varied sound, Hidden Pictures have created an album that is nearly impossible to dislike. There really is a song for almost anyone.
The album opens up with a catchy pop duet that is guaranteed to get your head bobbing and your toes tapping. The male vocals take the lead in this song, while the female vocals provide a great complement. This is the case in songs such as “She Fights Back,” in which nice guitar riffs and smooth vocals make for a great song, and “Choosing Sides,” which is a bit softer and upbeat.
In my opinion, “Anne Apparently” shines as the instantly catchy song that makes you feel as if you’ve heard it before. It has a great old-school vibe, with a solid chorus and upbeat melody with perfect instrumentals.
In contrast, “Alexander Bell” is also one of the best tracks on the album, but for a very different reason. A much gentler, down-tempo song that truly showcases their talents; they shine as a duet with beautiful vocals on smooth instrumentals that make it an instant favorite.
“Working on a Way Out” and “Red Alerts” fall a bit flat with unmemorable country rock melodies, while “Just a Little Bit More” continues with the country vibe, but infuses it with jazz and rock to make it both interesting and catchy.
Overall, Hidden Pictures have noticeable talent and can make some great music. They show an array of skills in genres from jazz to pop to country to rock to folk, and have undeniably great voices (that sound incredible, might I add, while being harmonized). This album is incredibly well-crafted, showing their varied talents and giving a little something for everyone. However, I found it too be too Americana in some aspects (but, I’ve never been a country music fan), which turned me off as a lover of their less-country songs. In this respect, I wonder if their inability to commit to one genre/style may cause them to lose fans along the way. However, their varied sound does maintain my interest in them, and I like enough of their songs to keep listening.