Alaskan Knight akaTim Commandeur (I want that name) creates danceable, sample-worthy synth-rock songs that harken to the beginning days of indie electronic music. It's almost a perfect combination of house music and the sensibilities some of us enjoy when listening to a band like the Postal Service. Some of the music sounds like it would fit comfortably on a Saint Etienne record as the the the kick drum hits hard and lays down a steady foundation to the songs. The programming as well as the song structure here is top-notch as every song has inspired sounds ranging from fat lead synths you might expect on a Cut Copy record to a breakdown where where sounds are mutuating through some kind of filter or envelope.
The opener "Mine" on his EP, Cabin Fever, uses Thompson Twins sensibilities to create a track that calls out spurned lovers everywhere. Commandeur's voice lends itself well to this sort of music. He talk-sings through rapid synth changes, bounce-house like patterns and dark electronics. His voice is heavily processed but sounding spot on for the type of music he is producing. The atmosphere the album constructs is one of relaxation. It's great music to play en route to the next party. "Cabin Fever" may be a bit ironically titled, is a jumpy number that alternates between moments of spellbinding silence and a seductive beat pattern.
There's no point in avoiding it: Commandeur can't sing very well. He tries to channel Ben Gibbard but comes off as uninspiring at times. He picks himself up a bit on "Say It Like You Mean It" using a fun, basic 4/4 timing but otherwise everything sounds generic. Despite that it's not a bad effort. "Be As One" is also an inspired song that seems to hit all the right notes. The song is catchy, has a memorable vocal line and is just a really easy song to enjoy. It's unpretentious attitude seems like it's destined to have people playing this one before they go out for a drink on friday night.
Its hard to deny that the songs on this album sound good even if you aren't into the fusion on indie rock and house music.
If you are into bands like Cut Copy and Hot Chip you need to check this out.
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