Altopalo - farawayfrom-everyoneyouknow Music Album Reviews

With garbled singing, shuffling electronics, and fragments of conversation, the Brooklyn band’s new album dwells on ordinary and universal moments of alienation.

Drifting through altopalo’s farawayfromeveryoneyouknow evokes twin feelings of isolation and unity: One imagines astronauts gazing at the marbled surface of the Earth, so luminous and fragile, and remembering the place is home. Though the quartet of old friends is based in Brooklyn, in recent years they’ve toured separately with other acts to pay the bills. So in late 2018, when they collectively decamped to a family cabin beside a frozen lake in Indiana to record a new album, it was a rare opportunity to congregate under the same roof. While there, they kept the tape rolling. On “funny thoughts…,” a delicate piano line is interrupted by the clink of a metal spoon.“It’s literally louder than the fucking piano, your fucking eating,” someone yells. Stifled laughter. “Love you!” “Love you too.”
altopalo’s previous record, frozenthere, also recorded in Indiana, was inspired by the intimate estrangement of laggy FaceTime calls and unblinking stares into a screen. To mimic this state, they warped and corroded the human voice, sometimes to gorgeous effect: one passage sounded like overhearing a man cry from the other side of a wall, the tragedy heightening as the wail grew soft. Farawayfromeveryoneyouknow retains many of its predecessor’s signature effects—the garbled singing, shuffling electronics, and light pentatonic flourishes—but it’s a warmer and more spacious album, thanks in part to Mike Halderman’s languid, echoey guitar. altopalo’s glitchy blend of ambient, indie rock, and R&B recalls the work of “genre-less” auteurs like Justin Vernon or James Blake, though lead singer Rahm Silverglade’s voice is less howling and more numb, which lends the music an appealing anonymity.

The group made a conscious effort to eliminate possessive language from their sessions—my bass, his drum—and so what you hear is less a singular display of virtuosity than a collective blur of experience. Farawayfromeveryoneyouknow has no proper nouns, no prickly clues from which to patch together a personal history. Instead, it dwells on ordinary and universal moments of alienation: the tedium of doing chores with a foggy mind, or the difficulty of falling asleep at night. Songs are addressed to a disembodied “you.” On “Honey,” a song inspired by bassist Jesse Bielenberg’s struggle with depression, Silverglade murmurs words of devotion to the drug Lexapro: “Never said love and then I did,” he recites hoarsely, over frayed drums and atmospheric swirls. “Never saw color and you dropped in.”

Off-kilter accents, like the harsh blasts of static on “am i am,” or the hospital monitor pings that open several songs, accentuate the private strangeness of these liminal moments. Halfway through “Mud” is an absurd, wordless jumble that resembles a baby garbling through a tube. And while this particular bit seems random, other vocal fragments can be wrenchingly profound. On “Lub,” Silverglade warbles the album title in a rapidly ascending vocal line, so that syllables domino into each other. “Maybe/Stop at Safeway/Get some Pringles/And then/Maybe wander/Feeling sorry/For myself,” he screeches later, pushed to the brink by AutoTune. The mundane familiarity of the scene seems incongruous with the severity of the wail. It’s like the world you once knew has become foreign and inhospitable.

farawayfromeveryoneyouknow closes on a gentler melancholy. Awash in static and feedback, the final song, “now that you’re here…,” recalls the sound of an old clock chiming slowly in the distance. It’s like staring out at the city at the crack of dawn, briefly feeling as though you have all the time in the world. It’s also designed to thwart Spotify from automatically queuing up a different album and jolting you into another landscape. Sit with me longer, it says. Stay. For all of its remoteness, farawayfromeveryoneyouknow is strangely comforting.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Altopalo - farawayfrom-everyoneyouknow Music Album Reviews Altopalo - farawayfrom-everyoneyouknow Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, May 07, 2020 Rating:

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