by Tiana Feng
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Label: Mint Records
Caribou drummer Brad Weber released a self-titled album under the monicker Pick A Piper. Weber’s internet was to create music that falls between the organic and synthetic.
The “organic” side is also reflected in the titles of songs which feature leaves, riding boats in coves, fjords and zenaida doves among other things. Beginning with “Lucid in Fjords”, the vocal style reminded me instantly of Alt Altman aka Digits, but it’s actually Ryan Mcphun of Ruby Suns.
The album has pulls a bunch of vocalists from known projects including John Schmersal of Enon, Raphaelle of Blue Hawaii/Braids, Karl Edna of Kidstreet and Andy Loyd of Born Ruffians. Despite this, it is the arrangements that are really the star. I kind of wish it was an instrumental album because the drifting vocals take away from the genius polyrhythmic textures. The only vocals I didn’t mind was Raphaelle’s who blended perfectly into “Once Were Leaves”. Maybe it is because this type of music falls into her territory and it could have easily been confused for something on her own Blooming Summer.
“South of Polynesia” is one of the album’s most stand-out tracks featuring saxophone and flute improvisations on growing atmosphere of effects atop Weber on the drums repeating an elaborate rhythm.
The album doesn’t stray too far from Caribou territory. That being said, if you ignore all the mediocre vocals and lyrics this album has some fantastic compositions.