Spun: Oberhofer

When reviewing CDs at the Gauntlet, we are often forced to choose by album cover alone, knowing little else. Oberhofer’s homemade cut-and-paste cover of a young child pursuing a red balloon is perfectly suited to the album. Like the child, Oberhofer seems to be in wide-eyed wonder of the world around him. He is in awe of what music is capable of, and is more interested in the creation and pursuit of it than the final product.

Brad Oberhofer is a one-man band who creates low-fi noise pop. With nearly every track on his EP featuring glockenspiel plinks and barrages of cymbal crashes, it is 30 minutes of brilliant melodies and staccato percussion. The songs are sparkling mini-epics of whoops, whistles and fuzzy electronics that threaten to blow the speakers. Were it not for the music the repetitive “la-la-la” lyrics would come across as downright lacking, but in this context it fits the sense of innocence and utter joy.

Oberhofer crafted a basic formula here which he sticks to throughout, but it’s so impossibly catchy it barely matters. There isn’t enough variety to sustain this sound through an entire album, but as an EP it is a quick and powerful burst of pure energy. And hey, it’s completely free to download on his site. What do you have to lose?

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