DOLDRUMS plays Friday (February 15) at the Great Hall’s Black Box Theatre as part of the Wavelength Thirteen festival. See listings. Rating: NNNN
Doldrums is being touted as a young "band to watch" on sites like Pitchfork, but the experimental electro-psych act has been gestating for a few years now. Former Spiral Beach wunderkind Airick Woodhead started it as a solo project in Toronto a few years ago, but has since relocated to Montreal and immersed himself in the weird pop loft scene that spawned Grimes and Mac DeMarco.
He's taken his time with the project, developing his sound on singles and EPs. Waiting to record his full-length debut was a wise move. While previous releases showed spotty promise, Lesser Evil harnesses Woodhead's chopped-up hooks, fragmented electronics and spacy, ambiguous vocals into a fresh, coherent whole. Though there are clear highlights - the druggy, danceable Egypt and the dreamy Anomaly - the album holds together as a larger, unified statement.
Top track: Egypt