Rich Aucoin Personal Publication

Add Halifax native Rich Aucoin’s name to the list of contemporary artists taking the concept of DIY, pumping it up with steroids and pushing it for all its worth. Admire the fact that he’s attempted to pull a Sufjan by writing and recording parts for over 25 distinct instruments he plays himself. Ponder the quirky fact that he’s synced this new EP up with the cartoon adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on his MySpace page. Do a double take when you discover that he’s somehow touring across the entire country this summer on his bicycle, with all proceeds benefiting the Childhood Cancer Foundation. (Forgive him if he’s slightly late for some of these shows.) All of these details would be moot if Personal Publication wasn’t worth a damn but, thankfully, it is. Learning some things from a stint in big brother Paul’s Hylozoists, Aucoin creates bombastic, orchestral indie pop soundscapes crafted around abstract lyrics and narratives. It’s not all that sugar-coated, as the songs bob and weave with different textures and feels. Difficult to process, Personal Publication is a fine introduction to the young Rich Aucoin, and his ambitious work is certainly something to keep tabs on. (Independent)