Thursday, October 14, 2010

Living Rooms, House Kid

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 11:09 AM

House Kid, Living Rooms' first proper full-length, shows off a tremendous amount of growth taking place since the group released their Double Phantom Records debut 7-inch back in Sept./Oct. of '09.

From the billowing mass of disembodied voices, noises and acoustic strumming that open this digital-only release in "Cave In," it's apparent that the group has upped the anti to rise above all of those Animal Collective references that were heaped upon them the first time around. While Animal Collective's paw prints are still all over the music, House Kid reveals a more defined side of Living Rooms' true sound that's steeped in layers of electronic textures, house beats and spaced-out minimalism. Therein lies the album's strengths. The ease and clutter-free pace with which each song unfolds bares the mark of concise editing, mixing and crafting of a leaner sound. "You're A Mirage" locks into a groove that draws out the sentimental accent of the album in one rhythmic bout that functions sort of like the album's thesis statement. It's pretty, easy on the consciousness, and totally experimental, but it's never difficult to approach.

There's a lot of wide open space here, which is a departure from the sample-heavy randomness of Living Rooms' past live shows. House Kid is also the last stand for the group's original lineup of Seth Bolton (vocals, sampler, beats), Ryan Luce (guitar, synthesizer) and Sean Telo (sampler, effects). Bolton is all that remains of the old Living Rooms, and he's now joined by Lisa Highfill (vocals, guitar and samples).

Highfill appears a couple times throughout the album, adding the blissful female vocal parts to "Don't Frown" and "Tongue Side Out." Like the rest of the album's cooed, angelic voices, Highfill's singing doesn't bring lyrical depth, but serves as one more textural element in a mass of sounds that's rhythmic, spacious and full of summertime ambiance.

Double Phantom Records

Download House Kid.

Living Rooms play 529, Thurs., Oct. 14 with Netherfriends and Goldilocks. $5. 9 p.m. 529 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-228-6769.

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