[LOVINGLY LO-FI] Sometimes a sketch says more than a painting. A friend of mine said that years ago, and the phrase has stuck with me ever since. It’s especially applicable to music, where mainstream pop artists regularly bog themselves down with overbearing production.
Brett Vogel makes paintings—warm, impressionistic paintings—with his band Crosstide. And he’s poised to do the same with Incredible Yacht Control, his new solo project-turned-band. IYC’s self-titled debut is definitely a sketch, but it’s a painstakingly detailed one.
Those accustomed to Crosstide’s melodic roar may be surprised by what IYC reveals about that band’s frontman: Namely, that he’s really a child of the ’80s. The largely lo-fi disc echoes with a decidedly R.E.M. jangle; rousing, Replacements-esque choruses and the dance beats/reverb-drenched guitar pairing of the Cure. The ’70s are represented, too: “Trespass” could easily be mistaken for a Big Star ballad.
But if the disc is a time capsule from a forgotten era, Vogel himself didn’t forget to climb in and close the hatch. Though he subconsciously cribs Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” notes on “Deadweight,” Vogel has a delicate voice—shaking like he’s on a bad long-distance connection—that still runs the show. It’s the same way with the whole disc: Vogel isn’t afraid to show his hand because he’s holding four (wait, make that 11) aces. Who’da thought a free download would be one of the year’s best local records? CASEY JARMAN.
[ELECTRO-POP] Logan Lynn clearly knows what he’s doing. On his fourth album, From Pillar to Post, the 29-year-old doesn’t just dabble in synth pop—he dives right in. It’s a curious decision, because even though artists like Passion Pit and M83—often mentioned as influences for Lynn’s work—have generated an impressive amount of critical buzz in the past year, it doesn’t always sound like Lynn himself is confident in the direction on his new record.
As the third artist signed to the Dandy Warhols’ label, Lynn is definitely an oddity among the groups he’s aligned with. From Pillar to Post works best when the tempos are slowed down into Postal Service territory: The infectious, gauzy opener “Feed Me to the Wolves” could be a hit with the right boast; it’s a song with a pingpong melody and twinkling production courtesy of collaborator Carlos Cortes. The problem arises when you reach the rest of the record, constructed of retreads of that same sound. It’s all overwhelmingly pretty, but Lynn doesn’t say much over those beats.
Lyrics are rarely the point with electro-pop, but Lynn’s worst blunders, like the poor Ben Gibbard-isms (“I have eyes for you only/ And I have held your warm body next to mine while you’re sleeping”) of “Burning Your Glory” only distract from the flooring production. Lynn’s got a talent, but many of these songs would hit harder with a different background. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER.
SEE IT: Logan Lynn plays Friday, Sept. 18, at East End. 9 pm. $6. 21+. Incredible Yacht Control plays Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Rotture. 9 pm. $5. 21+. Incredible Yacht Control’s self-titled disc is available for free at incredibleyachtcontrol.com.