Album Roundup

Music by Shannon Cleary
Issue 71 • January 2019

Featured in this roundup:
Recluse Raccoon • Recluse Raccoon
L’Amour • Look To The Artist: 1978-1981
The Can-Do Attitude • If There Is A God, I Hope She Kept The Receipt
Trey Pollard • Antiphone
Personal Bandana • [sic]

Recluse Raccoon
Recluse Raccoon

Richmond • October 5, 2018

On their self-titled debut, Recluse Raccoon feel removed from the current generation of movers and thinkers. It’s with this charm that they are able to tread through a number of mutually beneficial genres and end up with such a bouquet of rich sounds. A baroque chamber pop group akin to Grizzly Bear might peer out during a track like “Put In The Time” or “See You As You” and then vanish into a psych indie rock outfit on a track like “Black and White” or “New Acid.” Recluse Raccoon is a group that seems to unapologetically appreciate The Beatles, yet also understands how everyone emulates them and falls prey to what could be misconstrued as idol worship. With those concerns in mind, they aim to be greater than their influences and craft their own musical vernacular in the process.

A lot of this has to do with the kaleidoscopic musical interests of songwriter Timmy Peele and how he guides the band throughout each composition—such as making strong choices to form reduced percussion and highlight unique instrumentation like flutes, flugelhorns, and melodicas in favor of creating a splendid dynamic that truly sets the group apart. On such a self-assured and varied release, there is certainly something for every listener. Available on vinyl from Citrus City Records.

Look To The Artist: 1978-1981

Richmond • October 19, 2018

At that cataclysmic moment when disco was waning and punk rock was making its proper entrance, L’Amour was just a rock’n’roll band trying to figure out their groove. Curated by Beach Impediment Records, this evocative collection from the power pop outfit takes a few cues from the likes of Patti Smith, The Clash, and New York Rocker. The tracks feel exciting and fresh despite being nearly 40 years old. This proto-punk album tells the tale of a burgeoning scene in Richmond, one that was meant to truly define the city and serve as a musical touchstone for decades to come.

The Can-Do Attitude
If There Is A God, I Hope She Kept The Receipt

Charlottesville • December 14, 2018

The Can-Do Attitude feels right at home in the scummy neighborhood dive bars that host country-western nights on the weekend and all-ages DIY punk gigs in the afternoon. A little bit country, a little bit punk, quick comparisons include Hank Williams III, Lucero and Murder By Death. Each of the eight songs featured flip the script from sentimental ballads, to rollicking jamborees, and Southern Comfort-inspired confessionals, chock full of evening adventures inspired by pursuits of the heart. “We’re Probably Gonna End Up Dead” is a stand out for its barroom lounge aesthetic with moments that channel Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Trey Pollard

Richmond • November 16, 2018

The musical imagination of Trey Pollard is a beautiful thing. That’s what makes his debut record of chamber music performed by members of The Richmond Symphony such a delight. Pollard takes the whimsy of his composition efforts with Natalie Prass and Matthew E. White and brightens the canvas with cinematic revelry. As he explores every sonic terrain with his two “Fixed Idea” bookends and every movement of the “8 Pairs” collection, a perfect musical home is found in the world of Walt Disney, Wes Anderson, and the yesteryears of Hollywood. Available on vinyl and CD—and as sheet music for strings and piano—from Spacebomb Records.

Personal Bandana

Charlottesville • December 7, 2018

The minimalism of krautrock has a lot to offer. Sonic auteurs have been drawn to the form for decades in order to see what one can accomplish with limited means. On the debut from Personal Bandana, [sic], this dynamic duo quickly establishes themselves as more than just avid scholars of the genre. Taking a cosmic approach akin to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, the group finds even footing with a foundation of layered Casio synths. Solid dynamics and adventurous, unexpected sways build throughout each composition. Personal Bandana’s [sic] is a compelling introduction to wonderfully niche genre. Available on cassette tape.

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