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Silver Drop (2018)

Gregor

... read moreAustralian lo-fi pop oddball Gregor makes his official label debut with Silver Drop, a ten-song set of peculiar, but strangely likeable songs that recall the '80s art-pop and post-punk of acts like the Durutti Column, the The, and Arthur Russell. The Melbourne native has been releasing his wobbly...

Review

Australian lo-fi pop oddball Gregor makes his official label debut with Silver Drop, a ten-song set of peculiar, but strangely likeable songs that recall the '80s art-pop and post-punk of acts like the Durutti Column, the The, and Arthur Russell. The Melbourne native has been releasing his wobbly homemade recordings on Bandcamp since 2014, and so far they've ranged from semi-ambient electric guitar compositions to unwieldy collections of demos and unfinished song fragments. He signed with Chapter Music in 2016; it issued the cassette compilation Thoughts & Faults as a sort of stopgap. and while Silver Drop, his "official" full-length debut, doesn't add a ton of polish to his hissy D.I.Y. approach, it does stand as his most cohesive outing to date. As a songwriter, Gregor rides a fine line between oblique humor and moments of genuinely engaging introspection, alternately shaping his deadpan vocal delivery into something more plaintive as his mood suits him. It would be easy to fault his use of goofy synth patches and tinny drum machines as a bit too ironic were they not so artfully done. A song like "I Look Devastated," with its funky bass leads and mid-'80s orchestral synth bursts, shouldn't work as well as it does here, but Gregor's conversational tone and strong sense of rhythm and melody somehow make it engaging and pleasant. "A Song About Holding Hands" also follows this approach, using a similar tonal palette to help convey a sense of wistfulness as filtered through his own languid essence. The excellent "Revise Me" is probably Silver Drop's biggest highlight, with its gently strummed guitars and slide parts winding dreamily along through some surprisingly elegant chord changes and inventive turns of phrase that hint at Gregor's hidden wells of depth. He's certainly not the first indie act to feed these distinctively '80s sounds through the lo-fi bedroom pop lens, but he has enough craft and originality to let his own character shine through. ~ Timothy Monger

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