Artist: Arrange
Album: Plantation
Florida-born Malcom Lacey is the virtuoso behind the one-man act, Arrange, whose 12-track album Plantation debuted in July 2011. We get swept away on a woozy delirium from the very first instrumental track that is just a brush on the surface of what this album has to offer. Trained in piano and guitar, the teenage maestro meticulously spins ambient noise and field recordings into his instrumental arrangements, and what we get is an almost hypnotising cinematic sound that wraps you up like a warm blanket. A self-declared “purging of emotions”, each track taps a ventricle in an alchemy of wistful melodies interspersed with soulful instrumentals and melancholic whisperings. One might reference his tunes to the likes of Explosions in The Sky and The Antlers, but Lacey takes things in a different direction, starting out mellow from the first track and developing into a crescendo with tracks like When’d You Find Me? and Medicine Man. Even the bonus track, Sore, is an ingenious arrangement that could be the modern soundtrack to Snow White, leaving us on a tranquilized high as the album closes.

 

 

 


Artist: Oberhofer
Album: Time Capsules II
We just wanna go “oh oh oh” to Brad Oberhofer’s eponymous album, Time Capsules II, and that is discounting the fact that his track oOoO sits in the back of our heads for days and makes us go “ooh” and “ohhh” more than we’d like. Lilting piano notes and tinkly xylophone bells on Heart open the album nicely and whet our appetites for more, but what we really like about this album is the way it surprises us. The juxtaposition of merry happy instrumentals with forlorn croonings of “All I wanted was a little bit of heart / I gave you my love but you tore it apart” is enough to float us away on this time capsule to another sparkly dimension. Oberhofer’s earnest voice harmonized with a frenzy of electric guitar, piano, drums and the occasional violin and unidentifiable instrument sits us on a carefree cloud of mish-mashed goodness that we never want to come down from. Blithe tunes, forthright song titles like Away Frm U and Homebro, and candid lyrics like “I wanna build a house with you” are so guilelessly endearing and transports us back to our days of youthful exuberance, frolicking in the summer sun. This is one time capsule you wouldn’t want to get off.

 

 

- Kelly Koo