SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE plays the Comfort Zone June 13 as part of NXNE. See listing. Rating: NNN
Since Grimes's breakout success, Montreal weirdos are stepping out of their Mile End lofts one by one to take their turn in the spotlight. But while artists like Majical Cloudz and Mac DeMarco garner huge praise in Pitchfork circles, Sean Nicholas Savage remains relatively underground. Despite the Savage tribute album released early this year, he's still more Daniel Johnston than Leonard Cohen.
Other Life is an attempt to change that. It's his first album in nearly two years, which is significant, since he released nine before that (many on CD-R). Two songs are actually rerecorded versions of tracks from his last album, Flamingo. Despite that, Other Life isn't too polished, which means it will appeal to Savage's pre-existing cult fan base but not the wider audience it aims for. His quavering, unconventional voice is unimpeded by effects, and spare arrangements preserve Savage as the sincere outsider poet writing hidden pop gems on a Casio keyboard.
Top track: Lonely Woman