Published Nov 29, 2013As a founding member of Gang Gang Dance, keyboardist Brian DeGraw helped transform the five-piece from primitive experimental scenesters to sleek indie club headliners. With a runtime just under 45 minutes, SUM/ONE is made up of nine highly focused and tightly packaged compositions that find DeGraw (under the moniker bEEdEEgEE) pulling back from the perpetual throbbing bombast that has pretty much defined his day job.
While DeGraw prefers to ride the dank, dark-wave periphery with Gang Gang Dance, much of his solo debut is more spacious and sunny, with tracks like the R&B-tinged "Overlook" and the swirling lead-off single "Bricks" bursting with technicolour melodies. From an assembled handful of vocalists (including Gang Gang Dance's Lizzi Bougatsos), DeGraw allows guest Douglas Armour to shape "Empty Vases" into a throwback New Order-esque downshifter, while Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor and CSS's Lovefoxxx turn "(F.U.T.D.) Time of Waste" into a sweet and sultry club banger. On SUM/ONE, DeGraw avoids the trappings many first-time solo artists fall to, leaving the listener with a collection of songs that manages to exude its own indispensable personality while staying true to Gang Gang Dance's wild and wooly origin story. (4AD)