Psapp : The Only Thing I Ever Wanted

Fully furnished houses falling from the sky like raindrops would probably sound terrifying, like a train barreling down on you, followed by the squinch of your freshly soiled pants, or if we followed the train analogy, your eventual pancaking. If they fell from the sky gracefully though, like snowflakes or confetti, you might get something different and unexpectedly melodic, like Psapp’s new album, The Only Thing I Ever Wanted. Psapp has learned to find harmony in chaos within their songs, combining conventional instruments and vocals accompanied with the ambient sounds of Godzilla shaking an apartment complex like a Christmas present. Bedknobs and broomsticks are at work on The Only Thing I Ever Wanted, but not without precise composition and production of Psapp.

Psapp consists of Galia Durant and Carim Classman, the duo that makes the large scale and varied tunes of The Only Thing I Ever Wanted possible. The Only Thing is their second album, and Psapp has had some decent exposure since their first album, Tiger, My Friend. They have been featured on many T.V. shows, most notably the theme to Grey’s Anatomy, their song, “Cosy in the Rocket.” Psapp has a love for using very unconventional instruments that include kitchen utensils and children’s toys. They play a short little progression on the utensils and loop them to make all of the cogs and minuscule little nothings of a normal household tick to the tock of a well-tuned clock.

The first track of the album, “Hi,” starts things off with a harmony of various percussion instruments and the mysterious sounds of water droplets, eventually chiming in is our good friend, the electric guitar. Durant’s highly melodic vocals are performed with such ease that she can easily step out of the melody without harm to the song. “King of You,” the second track, is a little less frantic than “Hi,” but the complexity is still there, and Psapp still makes it seem just as easy. “Tricycle” is a highlight on the album because Durant’s lyrics are much more continuous and flowing, making the song seem a little more folky than tracks like “Needles and Thread.” “The Words” captures Psapp at its height, taming all of the rickety sounds that exit from every hole of the speaker for the listener’s enjoyment.

Psapp’s elegance with some of the most cumbersome sounds is more than just a good listen, but a sight to see like a doctor slipping on a banana peel while juggling newborn octuplets still slippery with caul. The Only Thing I Ever Wanted compiles great composition with the luck-of-the-draw, aleatoric sounds in one great album, showing both the beauty in creation and in chance.

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Stars – Heart
Ms. John Soda – Notes and the Like
The Postal Service – Give Up

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