Genre-free Chicago band formed by the hyper-prolific Tim Kinsella, who in his teens co-founded Cap’n Jazz with his brother Mike Kinsella (later of American Football). On this album band member Melina Ausikaitis takes lead vocals, and she tells disjointed and poignant stories about her youth, backed by fractured soundscapes. She does a startlingly great job adopting the voice of a curious and alienated child, the lyrics are strange and astonishing poems, and the music is disorienting but not forbidding. In places it reminds me of Radiohead’s Amnesiac, Sparklehorse, or His Name Is Alive. Fits into a wide range of sets, absolutely worth playing. Favorites: 1, 2, 4, 7. FCC WARNING: 3, 4 (maybe), 5, 8.|
1. *(4:29)—Starts soft with glitchy electronics, then gorgeous deep piano. “A little kid choked in class / they said he’s the reason they put holes in pen caps.”
2. *(3:00)—Vocal glitching, loopy singing. Off-kilter and joyous. Wobbly synths. Fades into track 3.
3. (5:27)—FCC (s***). Groovy, upbeat, epic. Bright piano, glittery synths.
4. *(5:20)—Boyfriend stories. Borderline FCC (lyric about “sex on a chair in Gramma’s living room”). Field recordings of the outdoors. Pretty, slightly metallic drones. Lovely post-rock ending.
5. (3:13)—FCC (s***). Dissonant violins. Agitated, volatile. “Stop being a loser!” Turns into a full-on rock song.
6. (2:39)—Instrumental. Slow, idyllic, blanket-like. You can play this with the next track.
7. *(5:24)—Band cuts in and out. Manipulated piano and synth textures. Ausikaitis’s singing gets more and more menacing as she repeats the chorus. Vaguely psychedelic, very pretty.
8. (4:06)—FCC (a*****e). Super heavy reverb + echo on the vocals. No other instruments for the first minute, then shifts sharply to 90’s Midwest emo.
9. (1:49)—Soft mid-tempo psych-pop. Feels more like an interlude than a full song.