Rubblebucket have long straddled the weird/dance divide, but done it well (if getting more lumped in the ‘weird’ by the mainstream). 2018’s Sun Machine (QRO review) was made after the romantic break-up of main duo Kalmia Traver & Alex Toth, and after that they made their own solo side-projects (Tōth and Kalbells, respectively), so it was quite possible that Rubblebucket was done (there was also that worldwide pandemic thing…). But now they return with Earth Worship, that once again mixes their danceable beats and weird ideas.
Based around their own efforts towards environmental sustainability, Earth still has a love song about “Geometry” and a smooth “Sexual Revolution”. Paring back the instrumentation somewhat delivers catchy ditties that feel sixties inspired, such as “Rain Rain Nature Rain” (which is a call for therapy), “Cherry Blossom”, and “Sweet Spot”. Amid all the catchy toe-tappers there is still some atmospheric wash (“Zeros Around the World”) and monochrome synths (“Mockingbird”).
Rubblebucket might always be too weird for da club (though some of their songs are begging for a club-friendly DJ remix), but they belong in the strange outdoors, performing their Earth Worship.