David Shane Smith - Perfect Forms

This past summer David Shane Smith quietly released the follow up to last year’s excellent Cloud Pleaser. That album, in hindsight, seems like a culmination of Smith’s apocalyptic early work – a collection of 3 or 4 increasingly professional sounding recordings that focused on tales of urban and environmental decay. Perfect Forms finds the L.A.-based electro/folk songwriter focusing more attention, in his words, on the “social and spiritual and not so much about the surroundings or the physical.” The change of thematic direction is certainly welcome, as Smith proves to be a more versatile writer than he’s shown in a while (the few who’ve heard his homemade Love Songs collection are already in the know). Sonically, Perfect Forms once again balances avant-garde folk, harsh electro/noise, and stripped-down, programmed beats. “Creatures”, which wouldn’t sound out of place on a mid-90’s Bjork album, might be his most affecting song yet. On it he uses a simple organ riff, a chugging start/stop industrial beat, and one of his finest vocal performances yet to paint an evocative picture of nightlife on the dark L.A. streets. Though overall it’s a longer, denser, more challenging record than Cloud Pleaser, Perfect Forms nonetheless has numerous songs and moments that stand up to his best work. It’s another exciting step along the way from this ever-evolving outsider artist.

MP3 :: Creatures

MP3 :: Perfect Forms

MP3 :: Beach

(from Perfect Forms. Buy here)


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