Following their last album from 2012, Clay Class, Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn, the UK duo of Prinzhorn Dance School, have released a new album off the New York label DFA Records, titled Home Economics.
The album is pretty minimalistic and almost skeletal, with sparse lyrics that they chant in monotone or speak as though it is dialogue. Although the songs are dark, wiry and seemingly empty with minimal lyrics and rudimentary single-string guitar lines, the calmly and lightly uplifting instrumentals make cold and gloomy lyrics such as, “Leaves dancing in the wind. Do you feel lonely? Do you feel blue?” from “Reign,” actually feel warm. While Prinzhorn’s music is known to be biting yet removed and plain, this album moves “away from austerity and into human warmth,” says DFA Records.
Each song on its own seems to be building up to a climax, but never really does, leaving the listener waiting for something more as the simple guitar lines, thunky bass-lines and heavy drum beats wind down at each end. Listeners are also left wondering if the instrumentals are actually acoustic or buttons being pressed on the keyboard in your school’s music room. This isn’t an album you can play at your house party, but perhaps for a party of one when you just want to sit, chill and contemplate how “to feel real” like mentioned in “Education.” You might just reminisce on the days when you were 10 and learning how to play the guitar, just as some of Prinzhorn’s guitar lines sound.
Although the monochrome songs may leave you wondering where each was leading; the album in its entirety draws you to a place of introspectiveness and then closure with its concluding song, “Let Me Go,” the most upbeat and even hopeful song of the album. Don’t be fooled by Prinz and Horn’s seemingly dispassionate and deadpan voices. With lyrics like, “In my eyes, you see the great unknown. If you want a love to grow, then let me go,” you feel ready to drive off on that long highway with your angsty baggage and your aviators and wind in your hair and then make a short video from all the clips you took on your go-pro. It will be a basic and probably poorly edited video, but the sentiment will make your viewers like it, just like this album.