J. Zumpano Living Room Recordings

It’s been a rocky road for Mr. Jason Zumpano. From the titular Zumpano, where he shared a band with the New Pornographer’s Carl Newman, to the awesome Superconductor, a band still revered by a select few, to the recent Sparrow, where this drummer turned to keyboards, it’s been an interesting journey. However, it seems to have come to the point where it started, with nothing but the man and his innate ear for melody. As the title foreshadows, this is nothing more than Jason Zumpano, his voice and keys in a lo-fi setting. And, man, are these tunes ever cute and catchy. "Summers of Decay” is the first flash of brilliance but it is "Clever Heartless Sound” that moves this album beyond its humble surroundings. With cascading piano and Zumpano’s pining voice, it tugs in the best twee indie ways. Indeed, this entire album is in a class of its own for minimalist pop. All these songs scream for added instrumentation, but I have the feeling that if they get them I might be pining for the bare bones recording. Though there’s gossamer instrumentation, this is still beautiful, catchy and affecting music. More please. (Powertool)