Stale Television is the solo project for Max Landau. His release Moments is a complete DIY effort that touts a handful of well-crafted indie pop songs. If I had to summarize Moments in a sentence I would say it sounds like Mac Demarco but slightly more atmospheric.
The production and recording quality isn’t too shabby but there are a couple of issues that adversely affected my listening experience. The culprits are digital distortion and inconsistent volume issues when comparing songs. A couple of songs are noticeably different in terms of loudness, which forced me to reach for the volume knob.
The album starts with one of the highlights entitled “Welcome Home.” It may very well be Landau’s best vocal performance and I thought the dreamy mix of instruments was spot on. Landau strikes more gold with “Same Old Friend.” The guitar parts and infectious vocals drive the song. The first two songs are short but effective. Solid pop songs.
“Lost in Dreams” has its moments apart from being about three dbs softer than the first two tracks. It also feels lethargic comparatively. “Bossa Groove” is in fact a rather standard sounding Bossa Nova Groove while “Out on the Water” feels like it's deflated of energy.
As the album progresses the songs are hit and miss. “Nothing Here For Me” is another success which works because of the increased energy level. The closer while revolving around simplistic chord progression and minimal piano was an effective melancholy piece.
My advice to Landau is to consciously veer away from sounding like Mac Demarco. The similarities are too noticeable to anybody familiar with Demarco’s work. That being said Landau really has some skill as a songwriter and I think that some fine tuning and tweaking should get him in a good place.
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