“Unrevenged,” the first single from Floating Action’s forthcoming sixth record Body Questions, sounds beautiful: Seth Kaufmann layers his voice to create thick, quilt-like harmonies, and the song’s arrangement is marvelously controlled, its most prominent feature being its gentle, burbling bassline. But tune into the lyrics, and there’s something sinister afoot: “You’ve got a special arrow just to shoot at me,” Kaufmann croons, before vowing, “Can’t leave it unrevenged.” The song is a glorious puzzle, each lyric a carefully-constructed riddle, each new instrumental ripple — a tangled knot of backward guitar, the hushed hint of organ — adding to its weird, bewitching aura. It’s no small wonder he counts My Morning Jacket’s Jim James and Band of Horses among his most vocal supporters: Kaufmann is a master craftsman, and “Unrevenged” is a tiny marvel of detail even while its meaning remains, tantalizingly, just out of reach. The more you listen, the more wonderfully obscure it becomes.
[Body Questions will be released on New West Records on August 26]