From Far Away (2005, 0 To 1)
Holland and Jessica Congdon comprise Anagram, and are the latest
to join the ever growing mass of electro pop duos. While the pair
doesn’t bust the seams of the genre wide open, they do create
a sound that’s discernable from the standard keyboard crowd.
starts off like the usual Little Darla fare – the soft voice
of Congdon swims along with the gently buoyant melodies of Holland’s
electric piano. But then the grumbling, fuzzy guitar resonates underneath
it all, almost as if due to some mix-up, a shoegazer band was let
into the studio.
songs like 'Qualify' sound like a slightly less hokey Ladytron;
the beats are present but not entirely danceable, the vocals lapse
into Ladytron’s speak-sing style but aren’t nearly as
detached. The complete lack of bass (guitar, programmed, or otherwise)
on many tracks adds to the lighter shade of pop effect.
yet Anagram does not stop there. As the disc plays on, the sounds
become more soothing. At several stops along the way (such as the
cut called 'Distance') and especially on the final track 'Un', we
hear reflections of the Hope Blister, or even echoes of This Mortal
Coil and other early 4AD acts. The vocals become even more fey,
the instruments (bells and cello make an appearance later on) become
less 'indie pop basement' and more 'warm cathedral'.
it is just another electro pop album in the collection, but Songs
From Far Away has enough diversity and flexibility to spend
more time in the player than on the shelf.