In his latest release, Much Less Normal, Vancouver-based musician LNRDCROY shows off his talent for blending crisp percussion and ethereal, but worldly synth patches. This album is stoic yet emotionally replete. It cycles between intimacy, detachment, euphoria, and bliss, never missing an opportunity to express a new combination of each characteristic.
The opener, “Sphere of Influence,” kicks off the album with a hazy introduction that builds into a percussive climax; “Land, Repair, Refuel” builds up to a slow, peaceful stroll and transitions into “Slam City Jam (Mix Assist Mix),” a catchy breakbeat with a warm, wintery melody; “Eye of the Wind” continues the energetic pulse of the last track but takes a more mechanical turn with a pounding techno beat, a groovy bassline, and a dash of digital nostalgia; “Telegraph my Love (Live Mix)” has a thumping beat that continues the powerful rhythm of the previous tracks.
At this point, the album gives listeners a break with “Ad in the Paper (Mix 5)” which features a lilting guitar line that fades to a euphonious peak. The lead synths in “Now I’m in Love” slowly move into a more orchestral, natural territory and transition into the next track, “I Met You on BC Ferries.” Soft but powerful ringing synths are attenuated by an addictive breakbeat to create a song that is both energetic and intimate. “Sunrise Market” brings back the detached, pulsing feel of earlier tracks. The album closes with “If Sylvia Built a House,” a track that gradually builds to a piercing ending.
Overall, this is a versatile, carefully crafted, and highly listenable album that can shine in almost any setting. I love it when I find an album that doesn’t make me choose between inventive songwriting and quality production.