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Combining elements of space rock, Arthur Russell, chillwave, and the Beach Boys' Smile sessions, Lexington, Kentucky-based indie pop crooner James Friley's echo-laden, keyboard-driven alter ego Idiot Glee first appeared in 2008 after the classically trained pianist decided to leave his lo-fi punk outfit for a life of loops and samples. Occupying the same rainy porch milieu as acts like Twin Shadow, Summer Camp, and Perfume Genius, Friley's debut single, "All Packed Up" was released in 2010. Moody, atmospheric, and tinged with the hymnal colors of a strict Mormon upbringing, Idiot Glee's full-length studio debut, Paddywhacking, arrived in March, 2011 on Moshi Moshi Records. Riding acclaim for his debut, Friley followed up in 2013 with two new releases, the Life Without Jazz EP and the all-instrumental, classically-minded album, The Prairie. Recording for a number of labels, including his own Hop Hop Records, Friley continued to his prolific run with 2014's more pop-centric Four and a handful of early-2016 singles preceding his next self-titled album, which arrived in late January. ~ James Christopher Monger
2010 in Lexington, Kentucky