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John Vanderslice
Pixel Revolt
Barsuk Records

True to Darwin's theory, John Vanderslice has evolved yet again in crafting Pixel Revolt, his most beautiful and accessible album to date. While retaining the wit and narrative fiction that make his music so uniquely his own, Vanderslice's production has gone from DIY scruffy to sleek, smooth and smart. A crisper sound, coupled with more sophisticated instrumentation and a sweet, clear tenderness that is new to his vocals, combines to make a truly extraordinary album. It isn't just his dexterity in the studio that makes Pixel Revolt so magnificent, though. His keen, first-person observation of some of the more tragic aspects of life make him a sort of Johnny Cash of the indie-pop genre, but his music is no funeral dirge. He writes with the sober hilarity of a Wes Anderson film, as is perfectly demonstrated in the lyrics of "Angela": I lost your bunny/…/hopped down Magnolia Blvd-no way that he'll survive/maybe those last days of freedom will be the best of his life". He may have lost his girlfriend's bunny, but he definitely hasn't lost his sense of humor.

-Emily Strong

1. Letter to the East Coast
2. Plymouth Rock
3. Exodus Damage
4. Peacocks in the Video Rain
5. Trance Manual
6. New Zealand Pines
7. Radiant With Terror
8. Continuation
9. Dear Sarah Shu
10. Farewell Transmission
11. Angela
12. Dead Slate Pacific
13. The Golden Gate
14. crc7173, Affectionately

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