The new Mister Lies album opens with a soft soprano voice singing over some auxiliary noise. The din grows louder slowly: there's bird sounds, manipulated whispers, some general laptop ambience. It's a nice intro to Shadow, the bedroom producer's sophomore full-length and first for Brooklyn label-we-love Orchid Tapes, because it sounds like a bunch of little memories all mixed up together. It reminds me of my mom singing in church on a Sunday, the dull roar of my elementary school cafeteria, and, like, listening to Radiohead for the first time on an older kid's portable CD player. Based on the personal message Mister Lies (real name: Nick Zanca) included in the liner notes of the Shadow vinyl, I don't think that effect was entirely fortuitous. "[Shadow] is about looking the 14-year-old version of myself in the eyes with his headphones on, completely oblivious of his future in the passenger seat," Zanca writes. But the record—which is full of counterintuitive pop hooks and deeply personal lyrical sentiments, tied together by Zanca's obsession with atmosphere—also feels like it's looking forward. "Shadows are our companions," he writes in the liner notes. "There is optimism in the dark." You can stream the whole album for the first time in its entirety below.
- Patrick McDermott, The FADER