Will Schube’s question of the day: why isn’t a palindrome instead called a palinilap?
As Noise Pollution returns from an embarrassingly long hiatus, we’re shifting things up a bit to make sure this thing actually comes out every week. So, I’ll be writing about one album and three singles I’m liking that may not be on your radar.
Jimetta Rose & The Voices of Creation ― How Good It Is
Jimetta Rose and her choir The Voices of Creation have released a life-affirming new project. She has one of those voices that begs you to sing along; the melodies are sweet and there’s an intoxicating power to her delivery. She reminds me of listening to songs on the radio in high school, turning the volume all the way up so I could sing at the top of my lungs and still not hear my awful, tone deaf voice crash into whoever I was singing along with.
The “Let The Sunshine In” channels the radiant positivity of Pastor TL Barrett before introducing a breakdown that would fit in nicely on To Pimp A Butterfly. You can hear dashes of the inspiration of Kamasi Washington and Yussef Dayes in the rhythm section, and the spirit of Roy Ayers floating atop the soul of Jimetta’s work like a subtle guiding light. The choir that works with Rose was assembled based on their willingness to work on themselves, not their singing ability, but the results are still astounding. It feels like the joy of a Sunday service–no, not those Sunday services–in its celebration of the human spirit, of community, of the joy that comes in thriving together.
Dougie Poole – “High School Gym”
Dougie Poole is a Noise Pollution vet, and his latest single, “High School Gym,” continues his run of sardonic, incisive, and sharp cultural critiques. There’s a parodic element to his work, but he works from a place of empathy–“Vaping on the Job” only succeeds because you just knew that Dougie was ripping Juul between takes. Dougie is who Mac DeMarco thinks he is. The Brooklyn-based jokester lands at the intersection of self-conscious outlaw country and shaggy indie rock, excavating the best of both worlds while ignoring the obnoxious frills that too often accompany these oft-insular subgenres.
Deru – “The Way Through the Forest”
Deru, the project of Chicago-bred composer Benjamin Wynn, has always been centered at the intersection of acoustic and electronic composition. He’s a contemporary of some of my favorite players like Sam Wilkes and Anenon, and on his forthcoming Friends of Friends project, Deru has taken his experimentations a step further. “The Way Through the Forest” is a dusty piano composition that moves at a nearly glacial pace, allowing for the effects of the electronically controlled Disklavier to give the song texture. The result is a piano that appears to play itself thanks to custom-made sequencing software, and Deru builds “Forest” around a Cage-ian proposition of human ingenuity and electronic strategy.
Badge Époque Ensemble – “All Same 2 Each, Each Same 2 All”
Toronto continues to be one of the most interesting experimental, alternative, indie, whatever scenes in North America, and Badge Époque Ensemble have been at the heart of the movement for quite some time–alongside groups like Jane Inc. and Bernice; shoutout Bernice. Bernice rules. The group’s latest cut, “All Same 2 Each, Each Same 2 All,” makes my head spin when I try to read the title, but that’s why music is based around sounds. The Ensemble comes armed with plenty of those. Saxophonist Karen Ng gives the song a rich melody to latch onto, and the band dives into a lush lounge-pop groove that finds a delicious middle ground between Arthur Russell and Sandro Perri. Good company to be in, if I say so myself.