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Eponymous

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Album Review

Roberts & Lord have a sweet meet-cute origin story. Simon Lord (ex-Simian and currently in the Black Ghosts) was bored and scouting for something interesting on YouTube when he chanced upon a video by the noise-y pop goofball Rafter. He was so knocked out that he got in touch with Rafter Roberts and the two decided to collaborate. Roberts cut all the tracks for the album at his home studio and sent the music to Lord in London, who sent them back with vocals attached. The resulting album, Eponymous, is a low-key, lo-fi gem that matches cheerfully off-kilter danceable pop with the sweetly sung, emotionally honest vocals of Lord. Rafter uses distorted drums, clanking percussion, warped keyboards, and minimal guitars to craft a kind of steampunk, bedroom glitch-hop sound that brings to mind early Hot Chip, but also sounds pleasingly original and perfect for Lord’s intimate voice and songs. When he’s not detailing tender emotions of love, Lord also exhorts us to get up and do something ("Windmill"), gives philosophical lessons ("We Rise, We Fall"), and tames interior demons ("Interior Demon," oddly enough). The love songs hit the hardest, especially "Knots," where he sings about all the sweet things he wants to do for the object of his affection, the super hooky "Mosquito," and "Oblique," a song so perfectly created and played that it nearly eclipses all the goodness elsewhere on the record. Borrowing a bit of melody from that old chestnut “You Are Always on My Mind” and adding a shuddering rhythm, Lord’s aching vocals and the uplifting charge of the chorus make it the kind of song you want to listen to over and over as you grow to love it more and more. Eponymous is that kind of album too, hitting you hard at first with the melodies and sound, but digging in emotionally with each further listen. It makes you wish the two talented guys behind the record would chuck their day jobs and just keep making records this good together instead.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Indie electronic collaboration Roberts & Lord combine the talents of producer/musician Rafter Roberts and indie/electro-pop performer Simon Lord. The duo’s origins are something of a fairy tale of the electronic age: in early 2011 Lord, seeking a creative outlet beyond his current band, the Black Ghosts, took to the Web for ideas and landed on a music video by Rafter, Roberts’ noise pop project. Some messages were exchanged and ideas shared, growing into a full-length album. Roberts, who co-owns...
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