Though summer is quickly coming to a close here in the northeast, the sophomore release by French-born musician Angelo Spencer is ready to play like a welcome soundtrack to the closing of the season.
Why? Well, part of this belief no doubt stems from the record’s prominent international flavor.
Consisting of tracks sung in English and French, World Garage resembles a travelogue more than an album. In fact, the idea of being on the road in a foreign land is not only suggested by the work, but also easily imagined as many tracks can be readily pictured as the background noise to youthful wanderings.
Having grown up in the French Alps many of Spencer’s songs sound like they are being sung from a mountaintop (les hauts sommets actually translates as “the high summits”). Only this particular peak is equipped with auto-tune and reverb-drenched guitars.
Elsewhere, heavy percussion and a collection of found sounds (alarms, noisy static, electronic squeals, etc.) create swirling mixes that enclose the listener such as on “Le Haut Sommet.” While such experimental collages are worthy of further examination, they also detract from the album’s simpler moments.
For instance, opening cut “Tanger, Tanger” is an upbeat enough rocker to give Vampire Weekend a run for their money. But too often other instrumental tunes lose themselves in underdevelopment. The addition of vocals, whether with auto-tune or no, could have pushed such moments over the top.
Watch video of Angelo Spencer Et Les Hauts Sommets performing the song “Tanger, Tanger” off of the album World Garage here:
Still, for those seeking an entertaining trip down the path less traveled there could be worse ways to greet the arrival of autumn. And at the very least Angelo Spencer and his band will make good company until Lou Reed and Metallica drop their collaboration “Lulu” on November 1st. Yes, you read that sentence correctly – Lou Reed and Metallica. More on that story soon.
But in the meantime…
For more information on Angelo Spencer or to see future tour dates please visit www.angelospencer.com.
And, don’t forget to follow the Northeast Underground on YouTube and Twitter: