A Fleeing Fantasy
With the indie and pop world crashing together in recent years, experimental instrumentation and interesting song structures are showing up in the blogosphere like clockwork. Alternative R&B like The Weeknd and Odd Future’s Frank Ocean mix art pop synths a la Dirty Projectors and Imogen Heap to create something exciting and almost surreal. Pop duo, Teengirl Fantasy, are no different, blending glitchy, quirky synth design with dramatic vocals to make a fun yet abstract listening experience in their recent release, Tracer.
“EFX” is a straight R&B, with sexy melodies over clicky electro hi-hats, icy synths and a 90’s-style bassline, keeping listeners on their toes, trying to figure out what Logan Takahashi and Nick Weiss are actually going for. It’s not to say they’re directionless, but rather trying to stack various influences. Oddly enough, it works.
“Pyjama” is a dark, percussion-a-thon, that sounds rather “tribal.” That could be because Animal Collective’s Panda Bear makes a very fitting appearance. Instrumental tracks like “End” and “Vector Spray” are, honestly, very much the same. A cavalcade of broken synths, hyper percussion and some nice textures here and there sort of wear down the listener. In keeping with the pop spirit, why not focus on the great melodies present in “EFX?” Let groups like Battles and producers like Nosaj Thing worry about tripping out their audience.
Tracer, as a whole, fights the good fight as a delicate piece of art. It can only be broken if a listener wants to be swooned and romanced by sexy pop vocals, only to be given a taste and forced to listen to the duo’s production skills. There aren’t any new tricks in this album: all the sounds you hear are present in other artists’ works. The only thing stopping this album from being “great” is the duo itself. Other than that, it makes a great addition to a chilled-down playlist.