Friday, October 28, 2016

Listen: Landlady - "Electric Abdomen"/"Driving In California"

Thank goodness Brooklyn quintet Landlady with their increasingly unnameable genre of music keeps themselves busy touring. That was not only how I got introduced to them but also how I learned that their follow up to their pretty much immaculate sophomore effort Upright Behavior was done. I wasn't exactly sure how frontman Adam Schatz and his fellow co-conspirators could possibly top themselves but if I learned anything from Landlady's vivacious live energy and articulate, intricate songcraft it was that it definitely could be done it was merely a matter of when.

Though Landlady's new album The World Is A Loud Place isn't out until early next year, their new singles "Electric Abdomen" and "Driving In California" are more than capable of tiding us over until then. They're decidedly different in sound, subject matter, and message but unmistakeably theirs in sound. Considering the varied but also shared musical backgrounds of the band's five members there's never been any shortage of tight knit playing and ecstatic grooves but "Electric Abdomen" is a wonderful slow burn. It builds upon a steady pulse gradually incorporating not only the quintet but a group of guest artists (like a string quartet form from friends/collaborators) and yet as is their way they manage to effortlessly avoid too much cacophony despite its dizzying assemblage of instruments.

"Driving In California" meanwhile changes gears from the funk vibes of "Electric Abdomen", reminiscent of "Washington State Is Important" from Upright Behavior in sound not just references to places the band has been. Its change in sound is a bit of an ironic twist considering it swaps out strings for a brass and woodwind section. But "Driving In California" has some things in common with its co-single namely a steady run up to more spirited involvement from the rest of the band. It's an interesting take on the tour-inspired song/album as Schatz reveals a love of travel and awe for the little things that make each new place unique. Schatz also humorously shifts from place to place eventually undercutting his initially stated love with each subsequent place.

Landlady are one of those rare bands seemingly composed of all of the traits you're looking for in all the bands: infectious catchy songs that are also meticulously crafted and involved? Check. An incredibly present sense of self? Check. Lyrics that are intelligent but also easy to remember and sing-a-long to? In spades. If you weren't already excited about a new Landlady album just by virtue of the band's existence "Electric Abdomen" and "Driving In California" function as fairly easy sell on the matter.

Landlady's third full length album The World Is A Loud Place is out January 20th on Hometapes. You can pre-order the record as well as deluxe album bundles with everything from tees to patches now.

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