In Tall Buildings / Photocomfort
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Akinetic, the new album from In Tall Buildings, a one-man, polymathic project of Chicago, Illinois, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Erik Hall, sees its creator plunge headlong into allegories of communication, loss, impulse, vice, and mass-denialism.
With the addition of producer and engineer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine), Hall crashes through the subject matter with brightness and lucidity, yielding his most intelligent and focused songwriting yet. Working out of his house with Deck in Chicago, Hall’s efforts yield 10 tracks of spacious and textured pop to create one of the most sharply written and deftly recorded home-studio albums in memory.
Photocomfort is the platform for Boston, Massachusetts–based artist Justine Bowe and her brand of careful, expansive pop. After a slew of singles and support slots with Beirut, Glass Animals, and St. Lucia, she plans to release the EP Understudy this spring. Recorded in a cabin on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee with help from members of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, psych-pop outfit Carroll, the EP positions Bowe as an exacting songwriter, producer, and performer. She borrows as much from ’90s radio heroes Alanis Morissette and Dido as she does from Radiohead and Solange Knowles. Huge vocal hooks soar over nimble arrangements, presenting the self-doubt and isolation born from the pursuit of “the dream” of being an artist as harrowing, irresistible, and irresistibly catchy.
Watch In Tall Buildings' video for “Beginning to Fade” from Akinetic: