Adulting – Claptrap

3 out of 5

Label: Un je-ne-sais-quoi

Produced by: Claptrap (recorded by)

This is much better, and much more fun, than an average rating may suggest. And its 7 tracks, with an average runtime of 4 minutes, does allow for this to be an album, but it’s both not enough – right when we’re getting somewhere, you realize it’s over – and maybe too much, as each track hits about the same tone and pace. But the mix there is okay, because Adulting’s particular twee wiggly twaddly is so unique sounding that it’s hard to get one’s fill, even while wishing the group (various weirdos from Colonie de Vacancies, Borja Flames, La Terre Tremble!!! and Electric Electric) would push their oddball approach a bit further.

Various guitars and keys and tappa-tap / island percussion find something slightly poppy, with a loose, easy-jazz flow to the compositions, while Eric Pasquereau (of Colonie) hums lightly atop, finding some oblique phrases to repeat unto meaning, or meaningless. This all sounds like something you’re either going to love or hate, but the magic here is how this collective meanders it all into something very musical; very catchy. The melodies are instantly familiar, while the ways those melodies are achieved are wholly quirked. The looseness to it is definitely of a Pavement-y jangle heritage, but I mentioned twee: throw in some Belle & Sebastien tenderness to counter that jangle, and even the art-pop of, say, OkGo, and both the band name and album title feel very fitting.

However, all of these meanderings wander to approximately the same place: Eric’s vocals are of a steady, sing-song pitch; the group’s collage sound maintains a pretty set pace. Closer Public Eye starts to veer towards something a bit more anarchic feeling, which would’ve made for a great juxtaposition mid-album… but then, hey, the album’s done.

Still, you’ll be left with enough of a good memory – and some perplexion – so as to merit giving the disc another several spins.