John Vanderslice has made another gorgeous, richly textured album that is quirky without being morose or depressing.
“EmeraldCity” has scores of instruments moving in and out of the nine-song album. The recording is done so well that you can hear the precious flaws in the piano parts and practically pick out snare drum wires on the percussion parts. Committed to old-school analog recording methods, Vanderslice manages to use the flaws of different instruments to develop a warm, authentic album.
“White Dove” combines distorted guitars, driven to the point of clipping with a warbling guitar and rock-steady drumming. “The Minaret” is a great song with a manic piano line and “Tablespoon of Codeine” is more experimental and electronic-sounding, with fragmented beeps and glitches spilling in and out of it.
Rather than take a keyboard and push a button to get a weird sound, it sounds like Vanderslice took normal instruments and found bizarre ways to play, tune or record them.
“ Joe Wertz