We’ve all heard it said that most of the capacity of the human brain goes unused, and there has been plenty of theorizing about the idea of the deeper self, the part of us inaccessible as of yet. Fracktura explore this on their latest EP, Oculus, by blending a sense of humanity in luscious vocals and smooth saxophone with dark ambiance and cinematic themes that move into something deeper and, just as important, something darker.
But it doesn’t stop with the outside and the inside of an individual. As the sensory melodies of Oculus play out, there is a sense of the duality of the outside world and how it relates to the depth in ourselves. “Gold Spectrum” includes the firmly real-world grounded line “your shares rise on the stock market / your time has an owner”, which is paired with the saxophone to root us to our own world. “The Fear Peddler” takes a plunge and becomes the stormiest track on the album, explaining “a newspaper stand / selling promises of happiness / ensures a passage to the dreamland” and continuously blending the material with the ethereal.
Themes of encounters and eyes also trace across Oculus. Where album opener “You” uses piano and vocals to develop ideas of a chance meeting with another told through the eyes, the final track, “Identidade” uses portuguese to reflect the same message, repeating “Olho” — the portuguese word for “eye” — and describing a walk with a shadow. Everything is buried in depth on Fracktura’s Oculus, and no note among the sweeping soprano vocals and the thrum of keys and guitars goes misplaced.