Published Feb 20, 2015Ditching his customary melodies and guitars for analog synthesizers and oscillators, Sam Prekop's third solo album, 2010's Old Punch Card, acted as a major departure for the leader of indie rock stalwarts the Sea and Cake. On The Republic, his fourth, Prekop has again strayed from the script, releasing another batch of noisy tone poems. Splitting the 15-track LP into two parts, The Republic starts off with a nine-song modular suite — originally written for an installation at New York's David Nolan Gallery — that finds Prekop working off of singular, shapeless ideas.
The album's second half seems to close the gap between Prekop's tight Sea and Cake writings and his more ethereal solo efforts. Inspired by his synth work on the Sea and Cake's 2012 album Runner, Prekop pulls together some of his warmest, most focused sounds to date, as "The Loom" and "A Geometric" find the Chicago musician building pulsating, breathy arrangements. Although it suffers from its divided track list, The Republic reveals Prekop finding comfort in his newly discovered instrument. (Thrill Jockey)