Sean Nicholas Savage Bermuda Waterfall

Sean Nicholas Savage Bermuda Waterfall
8
Riding high after overlooked classic Flamingo, Sean Nicholas Savage returned in 2013 with Other Life, an enjoyably ragtag prayerbook for the spiritually muddled. That record established the singer-songwriter as the lo-fi laureate of Montreal's introvert underground, and there's a similar disregard for fashion and fidelity on Bermuda Waterfall. Quivering Bontempis and pained mewls set the scene before keyboard drumkits join the mix to establish a groove as robust as Savage's heart, which is to say not very.

Reach below the surface, though, and you'll touch an acrobatic soul. Those naked, Arthur Russell-y vocals are so impassioned they're almost opera, and songs like "Naturally" and "Heartless" are the musical equivalent of an actuallygrimes Tumblr post, rejecting irony and self-consciousness while refusing to commodify their uncoolness. Instead, the record harnesses its emotional resources to grant the listener the sweet spectacle of watching self-awareness disintegrate as the artist wriggles free from postmodern detachment, and rediscovers that most undervalued asset: his vulnerability. (Arbutus)