Windmill Puddle City Racing Lights

Windmill (aka Matthew Thomas Dillon) is an American trapped in the body of a Brit. This much is obvious on the debut, given the strong U.S. accent he seems to have adopted and his affinity for American popsmiths Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips, whose respective melancholic and grandiose tendencies loom large over Dillon’s polished structures. Dillon’s reedy voice is used to good effect — with piano and drums heavy on the mix, his aching delivery is given much-needed heft. But it’s his abundant talents as a songwriter that really makes this record succeed. In less capable hands, his musings on the anonymity of modern life could come off as whiny. Instead, these memorable piano pop songs have a comforting emotional weight to them. (Melodic)