Canon Blue, Rumspringa

Christina Lee

By Christina Lee

Contributor
on 08.16.11 in Reviews
A swaying, fluttering and swooning sophomore effort

As Canon Blue, Daniel James gave away his debut album, Colonies, for free. (“Putting music in your hands seems more important than money,” he wrote on his blog.) James may have been gracious, but Colonies found Canon Blue sounding like a more distorted Menomena — off-kilter and a bit distant. Rumspringa is different. This swaying, fluttering and swooning sophomore effort feels like a lovely road trip as it floats from track to track, each one dedicated to cities like Nashville (“Autauk”) and Milwaukee (“Honeysuckle”). And, while backed by an 18-piece band featuring tourmates Efterklang and Sigur Ros strings-in-crime Amiina, James is positively endearing even as he sings of being self-conscious. Canon Blue now sounds like pre-Age of Adz Sufjan Stevens, making Rumspringa far more accessible than even the music he gave away for free.