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Music Review

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Exquisite Corpse


Artist: Various
Label: Polyvinyl
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 04 September 2020

During the first days of quarantine lockdown 2020, Kaia Fischer of Rainer Maria began to conceptualise what would grow into Exquisite Corpse. The project is a sonic experiment intended to open the door for Polyvinyl’s wide-ranging talents. In total, 47 participants rounded out 11 groups of 4-5 musicians assembled more or less at random from all ends of the Polyvinyl family tree. Each team worked from scratch to write an original song, an adaptation of the ‘Exquisite corpse’ game where each player adds to a shared drawing. Musically, the results are every bit as exciting and unpredictable as the concept envisioned. Artists known for sparkling pop worked with more ragged rockers or folks from acoustic-leaning emo bands, and the end results defied the expected sum of their parts...

Exquisite Corpse is an interesting and successful experiment where artists from very different backgrounds form unions to create something unique and varied from their usual output.

What we end up with is a various artists collection with a bit of an edge. While everyone will have their favourite track, I honestly enjoyed each and every one of them - they could all be hit singles in their own right.

A wonderful project that takes some of the label's finest talents and gets them to think outside the box to create something really special. I'm hoping this isn't the last we hear of this project. More albums are surely planned.

Track listing:

01. Yer Brothers - Written by David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), Phil Dickey (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin), Nate Kinsella (Birthmark/American Football), Nick Wilkerson (White Reaper)

02. Somebody Else - Written by Erik Czaja (Pet Symmetry), Gus Lobban (Kero Kero Bonito), Christie Simpson (Yumi Zouma), Shugo Tokumaru (Shugo Tokumaru)

03. Slow Drive - Written by Shaun Fleming (Diane Coffee), Will Knauer (Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin), Cale Parks (Aloha), Charlie Ryder (Yumi Zouma)

04. To The Beach - Written by Mark Duplass (Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!), Kaia Fischer (Rainer Maria), Ellen Kempner (Palehound), Jeff Rosenstock (Jeff Rosenstock/Antarctigo Vespucci)

05. Whole Life Holy Death - Written by Chris Broach (Braid), Vice Cooler (xbxrx), Rocky Tinder (Wampire), Ary Warnaar (Anamanaguchi)

06. Do U Remember - Written by Robert Pope (The Get Up Kids), Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu), Fred Thomas (Fred Thomas/Saturday Looks Good To Me), Ella Williams (Squirrel Flower)

07. Perfect Vision - Written by Keil Corcoran (STRFKR), Katy Goodman (Vivian Girls), Chris Hansen (Matt Pond PA), Mike Kinsella (Owen/American Football), Matt Pond (Matt Pond PA)

08. So Much To See - Written by Jess Abbott (Tancred), James Alex (Beach Slang), Bob Nanna (Braid), Luke Silas (Anamanaguchi)

09. Some Storms - Written by Peter Berkman (Anamanaguchi), Erin Fein (Psychic Twin/Headlights), TJ Lipple (Aloha), Matt Pryor (The Get Up Kids), Nick Thorburn (Mister Heavenly)

10. Lonely - Written by Pip Brown (Ladyhawke), Josh Burgess (Yumi Zouma), Chris Farren (Chris Farren/Antarctigo Vespucci), Marcus Nuccio (Pet Symmetry), Cameron Spies (Radiation City)

11. Nude Looks - Written by Brian Borcherdt (Dusted), Caithlin De Marrais (Rainer Maria), Ryan Pope (The Get Up Kids), Post Animal (Post Animal)


Nick Smithson

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