“Pharoah” is a morose wanderer that would be right at home on Sufjan Stevens’ “Michigan,” while the upbeat “Over the Hill and Back Again” sounds like something that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah could churn out. The fact that these tunes are back-to-back on his album is telling — to call it “eclectic” would be a bit of an understatement.
Paleo — aka David Strackany — emits a mellower version of Alec Ounsworth’s nasally wail, and it’s his similarity to the Clap Your Hands singer that allows him to combine piano, haunted-house synthesizer and steel drums on “The Rager.” If you’re a listener who enjoys or tolerates atypical, sometimes atonal vocals, you’re going to enjoy or tolerate unusual composition moves, too.
There are plenty of oddities to go around. “Poet (Take 1)” is a rambling, nearly incoherent mess that is held together mostly by the fascination that a listener affords it. And there’s a part two later on! But hidden in the murk are some great moments of beauty, as in “The Rager” and the nearly normal pop tune “Lighthouse.” There are diamonds, but they take finding.
Fans of outsider folk can catch Paleo at 8 p.m. Sunday at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford in Norman, with Blue Valley Farmer supporting. Tickets are $7. For more information, visit opolis.org. —Stephen Carradini