Essential New Music: Nocturnal Habits’ “New Skin For Old Children”

Gather ’round, children of the ’90s. Justin Trosper and Sara Lund of the late, great Unwound have linked musical arms once again, and there’s a reason we mention the ’90s broadly as opposed to Unwound in particular. Nocturnal Habits is a different beast than what’s expected if you didn’t know about its participants’ new musical lives since Leaves Turn Inside You and that Trosper quite enjoys hopscotching over and around genres. Lead-off tracks “Ecophilia” and “Good Grief” are beckoning those who can’t afford the asking price for vinyl of the last MBV, “Wall Of Early Morning Light” is the piece Philip Glass never collaborated with Dead Can Dance on, while “Sketchbook” and “Ice Islands” pensively hum straight outta the Midwest where Shudder To Think collides with Bob Mould’s maturity. Trosper and Lund trading in ratcheting angular noisiness for alt-indie filtered through lush orchestration may be bemoaned by some, but it works. And it’s a lot easier on the senses.

—Kevin Stewart-Panko