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On their first album together since Maze of Woods (2015), Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) further their creative curiosities as Inventions. Beginning with a trace of uncontrollable laughter that shifts into the driving atmosphere and unfolding elation of opening track “Hint and Omens,” Continuous Portrait is an album of strange hypnosis, punctuated by songs that venture quite far from the respective oeuvres of Cooper and Smith. The spry, playful layers of “Calico” bounce against a steady thrum of rhythms and samples from everyday noises, while the dancing lightness of “Outlook for the Future” is met with a storm of emotional resonance. Both tracks emerge as distinctively different directions for Inventions, and it is that very sense of exploration, pleasure, and ceremonial melancholia which informs the entire album from front to back. Inventions has always been the product of two friends who find comfort and inspiration in the genuine surprise of creating and combining sounds. Continuous Portrait whirls and hums like Cooper and Smith want us to invoke our inner playfulness and welcome a greater joy into our lives, if only for a moment. The result is a portrait that continuously embraces the completely foreign and familiar, and evolves with each successive listen.