Monday, September 23, 2013

Baked Goods on Rice Toys Records

Montreal seems to have more than it's fair share of musicians. Like Brooklyn, there's something that either draws musicians to the area or creates them - or they multiply like bunnies once they're all in the same place...well, maybe that's about to happen the next few years. Luke Harun comes from this distant Canadian east coast city, playing in numerous groups there like The Brabazons and The Nubians. This latest project, Baked Goods takes all the pieces from the above projects and free to experiment as a solo project goes to unexplored new areas in homemade garage soul.

A shiny jangle guitar opens "Yo' Pretty Smile" into a backwoods country bar. Luke's boppy distorted vocals play over slappy thin drums that rehearsal space, minimal mic-ing sound of irreverent chords that slightly bend and run out of space. The tempo just shifts ever so slightly in an attempt to catch up or slow down, being singlehandedly the work of Luke, he's keeping that improvisational first take feel that captures so much more than the intentional millionth take. The second half of this hits the chorus section and just keeps going never dipping back down into that verse structure, almost having too much fun to go back. Just riffing lyrics switching into falsetto letting another almost finish come and go, the whole thing falling apart eventually in that end of song way. A bouncy unrehearsed track that relies on its sheer charisma to dazzle in goofy laid back tones of winning a woman over by not trying so damn hard. The attitude that is least likely to succeed is the one that works. A little reminiscent of Jacuzzi Boys and Natural Child, get into that barn, moonshine groove and taking it for a long long ride.

"My Star" is a more serious, put together side of Baked Goods, he's gotten a leisure suit out on a crushed velvet number to croon under the theatrical lights. I've never been sold on Bon Iver but maybe it's because of his hushed, a little too heartbreaking sound, while Luke feels like Bon losing a little bit of control and feeling a soul groove. Those emotions and heartbreak didn't break him, just made him wilder. This reverb sets Luke off in that arena sound but it fits his belting of emotion. I don't even have time to realize what he's talking about before I'm bowled over by the delivery. Real passion and emotion in between quieter talky moments. Maybe there's a bit more danger here of not hitting the right notes or change, but you know what? He's got no choice, this is done out of that passion for the feeling. It doesn't have to be traditionally clean or beautiful even. There's a real explosion at the end and he takes this even higher but overall a handmade intensity to the project that takes this beyond that hipster crooning of something like The National or Mt Iver. Right after the song is a casio 8 bit version of the track? It's completely deconstructed and faster than the delivery of the one right before, just plain wierd but now I'm even more interested.

Pick this up from the bandcamp source, echo's of '60s garage played through Sonny and the Sunsets, gets better with every listen.

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