What Makes Us Glow, the first new album from toytronica pioneers Psapp since 2008′s The Camel’s Back, is the story of two adults who never got the message that hitting things is wrong. Their Grey’s Anatomy theme song demonstrated their comfort with cozy synth shimmer, but the press release for Glow lists makeshift instruments including “bones, egg slicers, bricks, and each other.” Luckily, their music is all the better for it.
Amid this reinvention vocalist Galia Durant stands firm, expelling her lyrics with the unhurried, smoky ease of a lounge singer. Her delivery imparts a sense of sadness to songs like “Everything Belongs to the Sun,” which begins with a polyrhythmic undercurrent and Durant’s dirge-like chant, “Everything belongs to the sun, but you don’t belong to anyone.” But it’s a rare, serious moment in an album that is — above all — an exercise in joy. As Durant reminds us against the drunken twirl of the title track, “We choose what makes us glow.” Regardless of medium, Psapp has once again installed in their listeners the belief that anything is possible.