Many critics are now hopping onto the “hate wagon” (what a
mighty fine machine it is too) regarding the most recent lo-fi
offerings that this century’s second decade has thrown up. What a
change of heart, eh? Everyone was all about Wavves and Best Coast
all of five minutes ago- ‘lyk omg lo-fi is d best ting since dem
internetz’ etc- but now it seems that the purveyors of this genre
have fallen out of favour, somewhat. Paradoxically, although this
might be the case for full-scale fuzzed up bands, there’s a pocket
of obscenely young musicians making stripped down, kinda fuzzy
singer-songwriter tracks in their bedrooms- to which some are
attaching the tag “lo-fi”- who are all the rage right now.
It may seem lazy to lump
Son in the same category as two songwriters causing quite a
hubub right now: Perfume Genius and Idiot Glee. However, they are
all of a similarly (read: depressingly) young age, all write
incredibly personal, fragile songs, and all have a recorded sound
that, although can be polished at times, is more often than not a
little DIY and rough around the edges. Luckily though, with
Therapies Son, along with Idiot and Perfume, we really feel that
their lo-fi sensibility arises as a result of being stuck in their
bedrooms in their parents’ houses with no jobs, and little but a
laptop with some basic software, unable to push the boat out for a
good quality mic. This is stripped-down pop that arises from
necessity, rather than intention.
California native Therapies Son a.k.a Alex Jacob creates what I
will coin ‘hazy headfuck pop’ (that tag’ll be the next “post-rock”,
watch your back Simon Reynolds!) It doesn’t ring the ‘stalker
psycho alert’ bells like Perfume Genius does, but has something of
the same emotional intensity in the slightly muffled lyrics of Mr.
Jacob. However, when this is layered over the top of the swirly
psychedelic compositions that make up his debut EP, ‘Over the Sea’,
you kind of forget the fact that this is effectively a collection
of breakup songs, and instead want to go to the beach and get high.
The tracks call to mind ‘Clouds Taste Metallic’-era Flaming Lips in
terms of their tangible LSD textures, but use methods more
comparable to ‘Yoshimi’- rudimentary cascading synth lines and odd
Unlike many records of breakup songs, Therapies Son does not
wallow in the heartache of now, but instead he makes it feels like
he’s creating music which sets an emotional height to aim for in
the future. ‘Over The Sea’ is a collection of whistful beach-chill
summer tracks that will most probably be the soundtrack to your
upcoming summer, but won’t leave you wondering why artists who
actually have enough money to make well produced records don’t
fucking do so.
‘Over The Sea’ is released by Transparent Records and is
available to pre-order on 10″ vinyl now, or download from
iTunes/Bandcamp right this bloody moment.