“In mathematics, the surreal number system is an arithmetic continuum containing the real numbers as well as infinite and infinitesimal numbers, respectively larger or smaller in absolute value than any positive real number.” So explains Andrew Graham, who chose Surreal Number as the title for his band Swarming Branch’s latest full-length opus, the follow-up to 2013’s fantastic Classic Glass.
The Columbus musician has always brought an eclectic taste and an old-fashioned touch to his music, and this latest album — recorded in LA with Drinks/Kevin Morby/Peaking Lights producer Rob Barbato — reflects those tendencies. There are traces of ’70s studio-pop, quirky psych a la Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tin Pan Alley, new wave, folk-rock, disco, lo-fi skuzz and so much more. And although Graham’s oblique lyrics and Dylanesque delivery remain Swarming Branch’s center of gravity, the passage of years and the band’s ever-shifting personnel ensure Surreal Number is a step out into the great unknown for band and listener alike. Stream the whole album below.