Release date: 8 March 2013
This is the self-titled debut album from indie pop band Cantoo, led by Canada’s Aaron Parker. Parker’s rounded timbre and singing in the back of the throat is oddly reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early/mid-70s output. There’s a strong new wave influence in gated drum reverb, steady bass lines, and jangly guitar production. Songs are constructed around late-60s art rock harmonies, and there’s even some early-90s slowcore in the drifting melodies. Notice how I keep mentioning influences? That’s the problem here. Cantoo is banal indie pop that regurgitates too much and integrates too little, like how your grade school teachers always told you write in your own words rather than copy from the book. Rather than using slowness to explore new sonic territories or rebel against contemporary style, Cantoo‘s onanistic approach to discreet music is insipid. Judging by this debut, Parker has a lot of potential, I just wish that he would inject more of his own ideas instead of relying on the past. It’s a cute and dainty album, but not much else; Cantoo‘s easy-listening texture would make for good study music or a montage to an indie film about failed romance.
Better to skip for morning shows. Brought to you by Kinsella Recordings.
Cuts are in bold. All clean.
Send in the Clouds – (1:38) [play with another track]
Ivory Eyes – (3:45)
Do the Worm – (5:15)
He’s Our Man – (3:40)
January Smiles – (3:02)
I’ll Have to Cry – (3:43)
Walking on a Vaulted Ceiling – (4:33)
We’re Getting Fired – (3:16)
Alabaster – (4:57)
I Want to Sing – (4:46)
RIYL: The American Analog Set, Brian Eno’s Before and After Science, of Montreal, The Velvet Underground