Tritonal Loses Its ‘Piercing’ Sound In ‘Painting With Dreams’

Tritonal performs at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in September 2016.

Tritonal, the Austin, Texas-based duo that splashed onto the electronic dance scene eight years ago with other-worldly vocals and uplifting and bracing beats is out with a new album that is an arrant departure from its original core sound.

Painting With Dreams amounts to an abandonment of its trance roots for a safer, less innovative, pop-influenced compilation.

They must’ve been dreaming about wider commercial success in the studio over the last two years. But they were measurably more ambitious when they were Piercing The Quiet in 2011.

Painting With Dreams includes a song called “Broken,” sung by Adam Lambert, that sounds like a play to attract requests on the radio by 16-year-girls with a proclivity for boy bands. But there’s nothing memorable about it for anyone else.

Unfortunately the rest of the album is just as unfulfilling and bland. “Blackout,” with Steph Jones, has hints of Tritonal’s exploratory sythesizing, but even here, I’m left longing for the soaring, mysterious crescendos on stand-out Piercing The Quiet tracks like “Shapes Revolve” and the gorgeous, mythical “Still With Me” that was later remixed by Seven Lions.

Tritonal was one of my first live experiences with EDM, which is why I was rooting for this new record. But they’ve lost me here. In order for them to lure me back, they’ll need to return to the electro-roots that landed them on the music map in the first place. More piercing, less dreaming please.

Old Tritonal, Piercing The Quiet:

New Tritonal, Painting With Dreams: