Apostle of Hustle Folkloric Feel

[Arts & Crafts; 2004]

Rating: 5/5

Styles: experimental rock/pop
Others: For those who don’t know, Apostle of Hustle is the solo project of Broken Social Scene member Andrew Whiteman, and the sounds on his debut are purely orgasmic. It’s more rollicking, fractured pop ro

For those who don't know, Apostle of Hustle is the solo project of Broken Social Scene member Andrew Whiteman, and the sounds on his debut are purely orgasmic. It's more rollicking, fractured pop rock joy than you ever could hope to shake any kind of a stick at. Go get it, for crying out loud. It will make you smile and get those toes tapping and make you thank whatever deity you might acknowledge for bringing such vibrant, talented people into existence. Myself, I thank the mothers. So, a million thanks to you Mrs. Whiteman!

After some strum and clutter, Folkloric Feel's opening track settles into the rhythm and bassline of You Forgot It In People's "Cause=Time." Rather than further the familiarity, though, the song enters a melancholic third phase where the singer intones "Everything's in place/It's on," ending the song in a neat introductory fashion. Since those interested in this release are probably coming from a devout appreciation of Broken Social Scene, this is a nice way to start. On the "Sleepwalking Ballad" we are given a fuller treatment of the singer's intimate purr of a voice, which brings to mind his delivery on "Stars and Sons." This song is just as propulsive and utilizes the same cacophonous ecstasy, which could lead one to think that this artist is the incendiary core of Broken Social Scene's flowering out of Feel Good Lost's ambient murk.

"Baby, You're in Luck" is a more straightforward track, whose moody ballad/lounge approach belies some very strange lyrics ("Tommy Two-Cocks, not far from the shore"). But Whiteman has got such a bending, intuitive melodic sense that you don't get too caught up in what he's singing about. The man has a way of making arbitrary statements sound revelatory with his peculiar brand of singing. I don't want to discredit the Apostle of Hustle by comparing him to his parent band, but it's a continuation of a really a blissful formula. Fans of You Forgot It needn't hold their breath. Folkloric Feel is an extension of that release's freewheeling highlights. The first real break from this occurs with "Song for Lorca," which is a tune that is extremely difficult to describe. It rides on circular cymbal tap rhythms and swelling and receding ambience and feels loose and tight as hell at the same time. So approach-wise, it may not be all so different; but I can honestly say I've never heard a song like this in my life.

This is a record that defies people in my position. It makes my job both easier and more difficult at the same time. So, as unclassifiable as these songs are, if you like ear perking production innovation paired with hearty doses of affecting harmonies, this is where it's at. There are no faults to be found -- just when you think a song's mediocre, it makes sonic adjustments that'll knock you for a loop. I don't need to wait and see: along with Animal Collective's Sung Tongs, Folkloric Feel is the best music 2004 has to offer.

1. Folkloric Feel
2. Sleepwalking Ballad
3. Baby, You're in Luck
4. Energy in Death
5. Kings and Queens
6. Song for Lorca
7. Animal Fat
8. Dark is What I Want/Strutters Ball
9. Gleaning
10. They Shoot Horses, Don't They