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Will Schube runs the Passion of the Weiss Indie Rock Department from his hometown of Pawnee

Matt Popieluch hasn’t been doing much of late. His spotlight dissolved when his band Foreign Born broke up, and his help with Fool’s Gold relegated him to the role of unsung hero. The dude’s had a presence as a solo act—recording under the name Big Search—but any notoriety from the solo project derived directly from his involvement with bigger bands. “Game of Images” is the first new music from Popieluch (either solo or with a group) in quite some time, and his distinctly LA singing voice is a welcomed re-emergence.

While “Game of Images” is off a new album, the music itself isn’t new. The album’s songs were recorded between 2009-2011, during his time with (and directly after) Foreign Born. If you’re longing for a rehashing of Person to Person, it’s probably best to just re-visit that album, because Popieluch’s solo music shares only one characteristic with the rest of the projects: each body of work is distinctly different.

While “Game of Images” is slow-moving and takes a few listens to really dig into, it’s the first unheard music in years from an immensely talented song-writer. The album’s press release describes the forthcoming record as, “Harnessing loose echos of Harry Nilsson, Lindsey Buckingham, and various Beatles solo albums.” While my first reaction is, come on, my second is irrationally optimistic. While Harry Buckingham or Lindsey Nilsson is probably as good as it gets, Popieluch’s work suggests he’s working from a similar template. “Game of Images” isn’t “Dreams” and the forthcoming Role Reversal sure as hell won’t be Rumours, but damn, it’s nice to have him back.

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