Thursday 30 August 2012

Landlady - Above My Ground

Single review by KevW

Photo © Sasha Arutyunova 2012

One of my favourite album title puns was Kirsty MacColl's Jimi Hendrix turnaround 'Electric Landlady'. It's unlikely to have any relevance to the naming of Adam Schatz's Landlady project, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Schatz is well known on Brooklyn's all encompassing music scene, having contributed instrumentation to records by Hospitality, Sleigh Bells, Those Darlins, Will Sheff, Twin Shadow, Little Joy, Adam Green and Freelance Whales. Quite a CV then. He has several other musical irons in the fire but is currently focusing Landlady, with whom he released an album in December last year, accompanied on various instruments by a cast of five other musicians. With such a notable calibre of alternative stars in his address book you'd imagine it's not difficult to rope in the odd bit off assistance.

The album, entitled 'Keeping To Yourself' was at heart a boundary-pushing psychedelic pop record and this is a style he continues to follow on new single 'Above My Ground'. It's the epitome of a slow build-up. Beginning with little more than a basic beat, gradually adding vocals, bass and keys and upping the volume steadily as it progresses. By the halfway mark it's transformed from being a reasonably average alt-pop track to something of real promise. The vocals pause for some subtle organ which adds a little suspense and when the voice returns once again it continues to grow, feeling more and more urgent until it reaches the end of its tether and fades away. It deserves kudos for avoiding traditional song structures but does have the slight air of a work in progress about it. But as it's an unmastered version we'll forgive him and instead shake his hand for trying something that breaks with convention.

Landlady's website

Stream of buy the single

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