Dan Friel: Factoryland (Thrill Jockey, 2022)

October 8, 2022 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dan Friel: Factoryland

On his newest solo album, Dan Friel (Parts & Labor, Upper Wilds) continues to write melodies that could be featured in Disney cartoons or pop songs from ’80s coming-of-age movies, and play them through junky equipment doused in distortion. He’s always used his childhood keyboard in his solo music, so there’s a child’s sense of discovery to what he does, except he’s been doing this for ages and he’s able to push the equipment to the limits and create these raw but ear-bleeding and catchy compositions. Most of these are concise nuggets that would be perfect for a noise-pop jukebox, if such a thing existed. “Trash Dunes” is the only one that stretches out, getting caught in a dot matrix printer loop before adding a beat and more sonically expansive melodies. Somehow it all ends with an ambient lullaby. Pretty magnificent stuff, Life is still my favorite of his but you can’t go wrong with any of his solo recordings.

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