The Belle Jar- Union Station
Mar 5, 2014
Raleigh Moncrief has hung around some important indie acts in his time. He co-produced and engineered Dirty Projector’s excellent 2009 Bitte Orca and he’s produced for Youth Lagoon and Ganglians, too. So, the dude knows how to organize sounds into intricate layered compositions.
Watered Lawn, his first release as a songwriter and solo artist, features all the careful ornamentation of James Blake and the carefully placed background twists and shakes of Animal Collective to string together evocative electronic sonatas.
Listeners beware; you gotta have some patience to get through some of these frustratingly inconstant tracks. This isn’t standard verse-chorus-verse stuff. In fact, it’s not even slow-build electronica, either. Moncrief is a mischievous bastard, changing tempos and rhythms two or three times per track, like on the frisky “A Day to Die.” The swirling “Lament for Morning” sounds like an assault of Andrew Bird and ‘80s arcade games, but it all fits together nicely like a pixilated jigsaw puzzle. Album closer “Waiting for My Brothers Here” features the sprightly acoustic plucks of Dirty Projectors’ more playful stuff on top of a bouncing backbeat, equaling quite the groove.
Moncrief’s got it going on, though it might take a few cups of coffee for him to reach out and finally grab hold.
Listen to "Lament for Morning" -