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Here's an album of hesitant, hangdog indie pop from duo Charcoal Owls, who feature Pheromoan Russell Walker and musician Tom James Scott. The compositions here are thin and insubstantial, with Scott's tentative lo-fi melodies matched nicely by Walker's vocal style, often sounding like a man who has long since given up on life.
The delicate dolefulness of the delivery and the vocal phrasing keep reminding me of the early lo-fi releases of local legends Hood, but the music seems to have mostly been composed on a cheap synth. Sometimes there are field recordings in the background, 'Pink Slip' for example is backed by a rinky-dink steel-drum-ish keyboard and the sound of cars driving past in the rain. '225 Says You'll Stay' ends with Walker mumbling the lyrics whilst tromping through some undergrowth. Sometimes both musicians seem to be approximating their melodies rather than aiming for something tight and focused. It ends up falling somewhere between experimental synthpop and down-hearted indiepop.
It gives the impression of...not being carefree as such, but just not caring any more. There's a lot of pathos and barely concealed depression on these grooves, like they could barely find the energy to lift their fingers to press record, but in a way it makes it more engaging and relateable. Or maybe that's just because I'm pathetic and depressive.
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