Album Review: Discovery – “LP”

discoverycov452My album reviews this summer have been mostly fantastic. The music is, not my amateur writing. The Dirty Projectors, Major Lazer, Phoenix, the list goes on of phenomenal summer albums. I use the term “summer” not only due to their summer release, but because of their youthful nature, their sensational charm, and their downright fun dynamic. I bring all of this up because Discovery, the side project of Vampire Weekend genius Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot frontman Wes Miles. It’s a hell of a lineup for a two man group, but Discovery doesn’t stop at that alone, enlisting Dirty Projectors singer Angel Deradoorian and Vampire Weekend lead man Ezra Koenig along the way. LP is maybe a bit immature at points, but despite it’s youthful and playful sound the album absolutely delivers a great listen.

“Osaka Loop Line,” the long time leaked lead single on LP still holds up one of their best tracks. It’s a rhythmic roller coaster, bouncing pitch, pace, and testing the patience of listeners who have no idea what this Discovery project is all about. I’ll give a brief detailing, Discovery was started by its two members before Vampire Weekend or Ra Ra Riot were making music, so the reason for this music being more electronic, more auto-tuned, and more humorous than either of the two more popular components was due to the pureness of the music tastes of the two artists. It makes Discovery seem like a joke at some points, but oh well, it’s still awesome music. But back to “Osaka Loop Line”, it’s the first time that vocals really shine, despite their slightly altered state. As a choir teacher of mine once said, “chicks dig the falsetto”, and it’s apparently true as Wes absolutely nails the high tones, blending the keyboard blasts with love lost vocals.

Angel Deradoorian’s appearance on the album is a welcome surprise, and a slightly hilarious one at that too. As Wes and Angel’s vocals are both featured on the track, revealing a discourse back and fourth about a budding relationship. The twist is, however, that Angel’s first line is “I want to be your boyfriend” tweaked and reverted over and over, again right in line with the synth madness that Rostam creates. And as Wes jumps into the mix it’s from a women’s perspective on the thing, doing chores for the man (Angel). I always thought that she was cutest member of the Dirty Projectors, but this is just sort of kinky. But seriously though, it’s another spectacular track, displaying not only the production quality of Rostam, but the laid-back and enjoyable nature of Discovery’s music.

MP3: Discovery – “I Want to be Your Boyfriend” (Featuring Angel Deradoorian)

There’s a track on LP that features one of the best new voices in music, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, but there are so many better songs that I’m not even going to talk about “Carby” because it’s obvious how amazing it is (I mean, it’s essentially a Vampire Weekend track).

I’ll discuss at length one last track, “Swing Tree”. Even though “Osaka Loop Line” might get a few more plays, I think that “Swing Tree” is the cadillac of Discovery songs. The synthesizer loops, echoing with reverb ever so slightly, make for an infectious hook. The keys sound like something I use to play around with on my old Yamaha board, but they way the track is so carefully put together, with bass lines jumping in and out, it’s stunning. The vocals aren’t exhausting, much like every Discovery track, but the way they are chopped up and repeated to match the change in synth patterns makes the same words sound new every time. “Swing Tree” gets my vote for best track on the album, and definitely one of the better tracks of this summer. For as much play as Vampire Weekend got on Apatow movie soundtracks last year, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some “Swing Tree” rolling during the opening credits of a movie later this year.

MP3: Discovery – “Swing Tree”

The discussion on this album doesn’t need to be long. Discovery’s formula can get slightly repetitive in the wrong situations, but for a day at the beach or an afternoon bike ride there isn’t a better album to have on. WEs and Rostam have already confirmed that they won’t be playing live dates, so no tour to look forward too, and probably not an album ever again either (this one took about 5 years). For a side project it’s great, but if not for the critical acclaim of each member’s main band Discovery might have never been found. Either way though, I love LP.

8.4 out of 10. Out July 3rd on XL Recordings. Pre-Order.


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