Pillowfight by Pillowfight on Apple Music

24 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

An unexpectedly inspired pairing of a hip-hop studio auteur (Dan “The Automator” Nakamura) and a folk-inflected singer/songwriter (Emily Wells), Pillowfight turns in a debut album that slinks across genre lines with a knowing smile. There are traces of Morcheeba’s sly grooves and Zero 7’s artsy electronic cool, along with a sardonic take on love worthy of The Cardigans. Pillowfight freely combines all this with a sense of wit that seems at once confessional and subversive. Wells’ bruised vocal purr (suggestive of Macy Gray) teases the ear in “Rain” and “You’re So Pretty” but draws blood on “Used to Think” and “Get Your S**t Together.” The drowsy flow of “I Work Hard” suggests lurking danger; tinkling pianos and swooning strings in “Sleeping Dogs” imply desire and regret in equal measure. Nakamura’s talent for quirky sonic pastiche is evident throughout, heard in the woozy funk-pop of “Get Down,” the off-kilter lope of “You Don’t Need Me,” and the dubstep cabaret meld of “Lonely City.” Pillowfight’s first effort is smart, sexy, and highly accessible, full of unsettling pleasures that deepen with repeated listening.

EDITORS’ NOTES

An unexpectedly inspired pairing of a hip-hop studio auteur (Dan “The Automator” Nakamura) and a folk-inflected singer/songwriter (Emily Wells), Pillowfight turns in a debut album that slinks across genre lines with a knowing smile. There are traces of Morcheeba’s sly grooves and Zero 7’s artsy electronic cool, along with a sardonic take on love worthy of The Cardigans. Pillowfight freely combines all this with a sense of wit that seems at once confessional and subversive. Wells’ bruised vocal purr (suggestive of Macy Gray) teases the ear in “Rain” and “You’re So Pretty” but draws blood on “Used to Think” and “Get Your S**t Together.” The drowsy flow of “I Work Hard” suggests lurking danger; tinkling pianos and swooning strings in “Sleeping Dogs” imply desire and regret in equal measure. Nakamura’s talent for quirky sonic pastiche is evident throughout, heard in the woozy funk-pop of “Get Down,” the off-kilter lope of “You Don’t Need Me,” and the dubstep cabaret meld of “Lonely City.” Pillowfight’s first effort is smart, sexy, and highly accessible, full of unsettling pleasures that deepen with repeated listening.

TITLE TIME
3:57
4:28
3:28
3:34
3:49
4:25
3:42
3:58
3:18
3:36
4:37
3:34
3:57
4:28
3:28
3:34
3:49
4:25
3:42
3:58
3:18
3:36
4:37
3:34

About Pillowfight

Sounding like a mix of Morcheeba, Danger Doom, Macy Gray, and Beck, Pillowfight is a project from producer Dan the Automator and singer/songwriter/violinist Emily Wells. The two met while performing at the Calgary Folk Festival, finding themselves paired together during an impromptu workshop and producing a fruitful improv session that deserved further exploration. Dan (who had been a member of the Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, and Dr. Octagon) and Wells (besides her solo career, she had worked with Buck 65 and Count Bass D) became friends. Wells traveled to Dan's studio in San Francisco, and the pair began working on Pillowfight's debut. Released by Bulk Recordings, their self-titled album landed in 2013 with guest spots from Kid Koala and Lateef the Truthspeaker. ~ David Jeffries

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