Unpublished Album with ID #11374633

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Carim Clasmann and Galia Durant spent too much time away from their London recording studio (aka Clasman's home) since The Only Thing I Ever Wanted, the 2006 disc that put Psapp on the map. Their intricate and intimate music, based on samples of toys and other household objects, became a regular living room presence when their song "Cosy in the Rocket" was chosen to be the theme song for hospital drama Grey's Anatomy. As suggested by this album's title, these unexpected triumphs brought the weight of sudden popularity — a heavy thing for such a lighthearted, fragile-sounding duo.

Grey’s Anatomy notoriety brings these previously fragile introverts into the outside world

As evidenced by the staccato funk guitar and jazz horns of the flirtatious opening cut "I Want That," Psapp has bounced back with extroverted tunes that reflect the bustling exterior world. Despite their continued reliance on indoor sounds, lyrically they've turned outward: On the decidedly perky single "The Monster Song," Durant peers through her door, trying to spot an elusive and unnamed beast. "Through the crowds and bustling sounds/There's something waiting for me," she sings, matching her fears to a carefree ditty that's as fitting for Sesame Street as Feist's "1234."

The overtly digital clicks and clacks of 2004's Tiger, My Friend are now a distant memory. Clasmann and Durant still rely on samplers, but now they give them the occasional rest: "Homicide" — a brief instrumental featuring an orchestra of sampled bangs and boings that nudges the duo closer than ever to the musique concrete whimsy of Spike Jones — is preceded by "Screws," a straightforward keyboard ballad. "Part Like Waves" even features a genuine string quartet. The song is about falling apart and pulling together, its arrangement both anxious and serene — the perfect summary of Psapp's unlikely success.