Philadelphia-based A Sunny Day In Glasgow, conceived
by guitarist and main songwriter Ben Daniels,
crafted atmospheric digital pop muzak on
Scribble Mural Comic Journal (Notenuf, 2007).
Daniels specializes in challenging and unorthodox orchestrations that can be
so eclectic to sound randomly processed through a blender;
and in particular excels at conducting the vocals of Lauren Daniels and
The mood is pensive in
No. 6 Von Karman Street, with a prominent
cyclical rhythmic patterns set against a sheet of ethereal vocal harmonies.
The mood is instead exuberant in
A Mundane Phonecall to Jack Parsons, a merry-go-round of
pounding percussion, repetitive guitars and thin and gentle vocals.
The mood is somber again in Ghost in the Graveyard, a concerto of
pulsating organic electronics and undulating vocals.
Narratives border on bizarre.
Lists Plans is a free-form collage of lullabies, percussions and noises.
C'mon is an exercise in coupling out-of-tune chords and childish singing.
The instrumental Panic Attacks Are What Make Me is pure hallucinated
By comparison, Things Only I Can See is lightweight muzak, a multi-part
The Best Summer Ever
Perhaps in an attempt to impose order on the imagination,
Ashes Grammar (Mis Ojos Discos, 2009),
that added cellist and vocalist Annie Fredrickson to the line-up, deemphasized
the electronic effects and emphasized the rhythms and the melodies.
The 22-piece collection is littered with briefs vocal charmers (many of which
sound like unfinished drafts) and
elegant rhythmic miniatures, but comes through as less substantial than
the first album.
The glorious vocal-rhythmic-aural mayhem of Failure is the exception
to the rule, while The White Witch represents the same art recast into
a less flexible mold.
The alternative universe of Blood White (childish singalong, warped
rhythmscape) collapses in the pastoral vision of
Starting at a Disadvantage.
The six-minute Close Chorus tries to "sell" his collage to
the market for atmospheric retro-lounge muzak.
Halfway between the first album's hallucinations and a better organized
song structure lie the sprightly and melodious progression of Shy
and the catchy peak of the album,
Not necessarily welcome are the moments when the album falls prey to disco
a quasi-techno thud-thud beat pervades Passionate Introverts (Dinosaurs)
and (more confusingly) Nitetime Rainbows, and
the suave multi-part lullaby of Headphone Space is perforated by a
rather monotonous beat.
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