(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Oh Light (2010) , 6.5/10

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 jangly guitar. 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 (another standout) 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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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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