Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pick A Piper: "Pick A Piper" (album review)

I'm not a huge fan of electronic music.  I often find it too cold and too soulless for my liking.  It makes me feel standoffish and, well, downright hostile.

Thankfully, we don't really have that problem with the debut self-titled album from Pick A Piper (out April 2nd).  The band is the project of Caribou touring member Brad Weber.

Unlike most electronic music, which feels tight and confining (beyond all of those other negative traits I assigned to it above), Pick A Piper's tracks are organic, free-flowing endeavours.  A song like "Lucid In Fjords" is an incredibly fluid work.

Balancing perkiness and density, "South To Polynesia" is a winner, even before the magnificent horn piece near the end.  Sparks fly on "Cinders and Dust", which could be the soundtrack in a futuristic blacksmith's forge.  The female lead on "Once Were Leaves" is at the same time mesmerizing and comforting.

Pick A Piper come perilously close to traditional techno music with "Zenaida".  Atrocious computerized vocals (think Revenge of the Nerds) make you brace for the worst, but a swirling kaleidoscope arrangement saves the day.

Pick A Piper is not your typical electronic record, and we should all be grateful for that.  It's difficult to come up with a piece in this genre that captivates.  Weber and company deserve kudos for the accomplishment.

Best tracks: "South To Polynesia", "Once Were Leaves"

Track listing for Pick A Piper:
  • Lucid In Fjords
  • All Her Colours
  • Cinders and Dust
  • Once Were Lovers
  • South To Polynesia
  • Zenaida
  • Hour Hands
  • Dinghy In a Quiet Cove

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