The Spookfish
Living Room [CS; Singapore Sling]

An Appalachian-faring fellow named Dan Goldberg appears as the wiley Spookfish when he’s on cassette tape, and it’s easy to see why Singapore Sling picked him up for yet another notch on their stellar catalog this year: more gauzy, gooey synth-pop/folk-hybrid singer-songwriter music that embellishes the inherent hiss and warp of home-done doings on tape. Goldberg has a knack for catchy, sticky-sweet melodic material, and here he matches it with toy drum-machine, Casio keyboard hooks, and aching acoustic guitar backdrops that are above all pleasure-center pleasing. It’s music best suited for either a dance party for fleas or a campfire singalong. Yeah, that’s a weird thing to write for sure, but I don’t quite know how else to describe what’s going on here. No matter the album’s stylistic schizophrenia, with Living Room, Goldberg is able to capture an overarching atmosphere that feels truly lived in, as comforting and homely as its title; listening you can feel the fuzzy, itch-scratching fibers of your dad’s couch from the 70s, and feel the electric heat from a glowing screen of the rabbit-eared boob-tube running Saturday morning cartoons at the end of the room. This is obviously a place Goldberg knows well, a place with its own personality with whom he can be himself, having fun inhaling helium and playing with his various toys to make a lonely space seem a little less-so. Make this tape your friend when you’re feeling alone.


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