No Kids, Come Into My House

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Ever wondered what Sufjan Stevens would sound like over a chamber-music backdrop ripe for a Wu-Tang jam? Nobody else has either, but that's one of many scenarios that might well have played out in the subconscious of the Canadian group No Kids. Derived from another Vancouver indie act called P:ano, No Kids fiddle with a promiscuous mix of styles on Come Into My House. It's a stately album, devoted to the most precious aspects of craft but in no hurry to dash all the comforts of home.

Meticulous music-school students emboldened by the casual air of indiepop self-invention

“For Halloween” strikes an intriguing early note by mingling a sound suggestive of Thom Yorke's “The Eraser” with the kind of miniaturized R&B heard on pop radio. Trailing that is “Bluster in the Air,” the one that imagines the Sufjan/RZA collaboration; others nuzzle up to notions of New Orleans jazz (“I Love the Weekend”), gee-whiz old-movie singalongs (“Four Freshman Locked Out as the Sun Goes Down”) and somber mope-rock (“Dancing in the Stacks”). It's a curious mix that makes more sense with knowledge of a particular No Kids tourmate: Dirty Projectors. Neither band sounds much like the other, but both sound like projects helmed by meticulous music-school students emboldened by the casual air of indiepop self-invention.