Careful (Eric Lindley), a pupil of James Tenney who studied art and linguistics
in the San Francisco Bay Area,
debuted with the humble folktronica and glitch-pop of
Oh Light (Sounds Super Recordings, 2010).
Despite his credentials, Lindley architected the album as, fundamentally,
a collection of songs for voice and acoustic guitar.
There is just a discreet veneer of electronic arrangements.
The noble melody of I Shot An Apple Off Her Head is penalized by
his plain dejected rumination and hardly benefits from the mournful horns,
but that's the whole point: to downplay its own appeal.
A bit more lively, Scrappy unravels its pastoral tune anchored to a
Another relatively upbeat refrain sweeps through Oi Etc and has to
confront a neurotic guitar distortion.
The whispered vocals are only half of the show, though. The arrangements
may be unassuming, but they play a big role in altering what would otherwise
be a straightforward meaning.
The guitar effect that interrupts Laid Or Lain sounds like a ticking carillon.
The flute that opens Every Epiphany turns into a nebula of vocal effects
against a rapid-fire sequence of glitchy dissonance.
The jazzy bass and drums that dance around the tender New Life
have to coexist with noises that sound like electrical discharges.
The monotonous Carnival is sabotaged by squeaking "flutes".
Soaring vocal effects that hark back to San Francisco's acid-rock of the 1960s
derail We Give Up.
The peak of this form of surgical strike is achieved in
Turns Out, between a minimalist undercurrent and a rumbling drone.
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