Cycles is the latest album from eccentric singer-songwriter Warner Hiatt, working under the moniker Worn-Tin. This album is full of chilled-out numbers that one could easily glide through in a lazy afternoon. With sunny melodies, easygoing rhythms and more than its fair share of oddities, there’s not a single dull moment in this 12-track offering.
From the chugging guitars of the title track “Cycles” with its languid melodies and surfy-vibes to the campfire doo-wop stylings of “Alexis”, the album starts off with the happy-sad dynamic that’s a staple of modern indie pop.
By the midpoint however we get the rambling and distortion-heavy “My Way” which swirls and spins with aggressive musings and high-pitched falsetto harmonies. The track ends with savage barks and howls, signaling that our chilled out character keeps a lot of things under his sleeve.
But wait, there’s more! “Forget it” has a distinct disco vibe with a thick 80’s veneer wrapped in its vocals and keys — with a turntable solo to boot. Things get more interesting from here on out, as Hiatt starts to shake things up with rich instrument choices, all the while maintaining that well-defined and easygoing sound.
“Sundown” is characterized by its dynamic embellishments. Synth brass arpeggios and slide guitar croonings are peppered in this vintage-style ballad to make it feel more alive. “Worth It” is the quintessential love song with equal parts consisting of sweet declarations and painful longings. With a hypnotic groove and psychedelic riffs, this one feels like it came straight out of the 50’s jukebox but coated with modern techniques to fit the current audience.
Hiatt pushes the boundaries again with “Same Joke”. This time with something in between a rap and a playground rhyme. Nestled inside its innocent melodies however is a relationship that’s struggling to keep afloat: “Try, me, tease me / Love me, please me / I don’t think it could be more easy / While your angry, I’ll watch TV /and Repeat all the things that I know seem empty”.
Hiatt pulls off an album with a constant relaxing vibe while adding in layers of unpredictability in every corner, keeping its listeners engaged with new ideas while grounding them in a bed of cloudy bliss. What’s more impressive is that this was written and recorded using analog and outboard equipment. I definitely recommend Cycles you’re in for something chill and eccentric.