Doldrums Lesser Evil

Doldrums Lesser Evil
8
Doldrums (aka Airick Woodhead) emerged from the same rich Montreal scene that spawned Grimes; Lesser Evil makes this apparent, but not because it sounds derivative — it doesn't. Rather, they share the exact same ethos: both work in a way that eschews genre tradition and categorization in favour of a more varied, unconventional sound. Take lead single "She is the Wave," a sonic attack built from aural scraps that sounds here like laser beams, there like a rusty zipper. Woodhead's androgynous vocals keep the track grounded in pop music, but elsewhere, it whirls, beeps and scrapes around the speakers until it's sucked into a vortex at its conclusion. The rest of Lesser Evil is slightly more subdued, sonically speaking, but the compositional method — cutting and pasting disparate samples into fascinating, otherworldly noisescapes whose hooks nevertheless sink in deep — remains the same. The 8-bit-tinged, aqueous swirl of "Holographic Sandcastles," the mid-tempo groove of the album's title track and the drone-y shuffle of yearning album highlight "Lost In Everyone" could all be from different artists, if they didn't cohere so well around Woodhead's melodies and expressive voice. That he's already spoken about moving past the album onto new sounds shouldn't worry fans; Lesser Evil proves that Doldrums can roam without fear of getting lost. (Arbutus)