There's no way around it, this site loves Lydia. I had the opportunity to intern at Linc Star Records during the album cycle of Illuminate, and that's where I first heard of the band. So I have a personal attachment to the band, as they are the first band I ever helped work on an album for. So it's no surprise I'll be the first to write about Gates, the project of ex-Lydia member Ethan Koozer. Don't expect Illuminate Part 2.
My take? Think Jimmy Eat World's Clarity meets American Football meets The Appleseed Cast's Mare Vitalis. I just saw their second ever set tonight and I was damn impressed. The instrumentation is on par with many of the post-rock acts of today, the 3 guitar attack sets it apart from its peers. Using phasers, delays, and other effects, the band creates an upbeat sound that never seems to slow down. The drums are the backbone as simplistic rhythms are perfectly syncopated to match the songs' flow and the drums are complemented by the smooth basslines. The vocals are the norm for what we consider to be the ambient post-rock of today, a lot of reverb to cover up a rough tone of sometimes pitchy vocals. However, you never seem to be bothered by it because it comes off so natural. Mixed with the backups and harmonies, the chaotic layers of sound create an ephemeral concoction that will please the ears of many.