Earlier this year, when Corin Roddick and Megan James released their debut LP as Purity Ring, it became apparent that the duo's winning-technique was influenced by their time spent as members of Born Gold (formerly Gobble Gobble). Recorded without Roddick and James, Little Sleepwalker (the second release under Cecil Frena's Born Gold alias) continues that same sleek, rubbery pop-and-lock that helped defined not just his debut, but that of both Gobble Gobble and Purity Ring. After listening to the album standouts ("Sky Bicycle," "I: Ferocious Body" and "II: Against Silence"), it's evident that Frena has produced some of his sharpest beats to date, which are brimming with synth-lines that feel both alien and warm. But it's Cecil's rigid and directionless melodies that keep Little Sleepwalker from becoming an essential listen, as effects-heavy vocals feel far too apathetic on tracks like "Black Sonar" and "Gauze Pillars." Little Sleepwalker is an album filled with peaks and valleys, one that unfortunately finds each battling to occupy the same space.
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