Realism by Brendan Byrnes
Byrnes’ 4th microtonal solo album continues his exploration of xenharmonic tuning systems within a rock and pop framework, using mostly 22 EDO but also employing 27 EDO, 15 EDO, and 12 EDO. The driving force on the album are the vocals, swarmed by microtonal electric guitars and colorful synths creating thick, intricate textures punctured by kinetic rhythms. There are echoes of ILEVENS and past solo albums here, but Realism leans more into accessible, singable pop territory. Not every song is overtly microtonal; some tracks highlight the more consonant resources in the chosen tuning systems, allowing the more xenharmonic moments to jump out in contrast.