Comfort Clouds’ album Three New Sciences was one of my favorite debuts from last year. Described as an album being made “by people who grew up more with Steely Dan and Brazilian music than garage or punk rock,” Three New Sciences offered moments that were both spooky (“Summer Dress”) and downright infectious (“Pony“). That track and others blended the imperfect yet passionate vocals of a Steely Dan or Robert Wyatt with gorgeous guitar harmonies and woozy brass accompaniments, the brass implemented similar to how Destroyer regaled listeners with the late-night pop atmosphere throughout Kaputt.
The lead vocalist and songwriter of Comfort Clouds was Jacob Trombetta, who just recently released his solo full-length debut Waveguides, a “suburban revenge” album inspired by Mingo Junction, Ohio, his hometown and the site of the steel mill scenes in classic film The Deer Hunter. The idiosyncratic approach of Comfort Clouds is there, but Waveguides places more of an emphasis on soaring electronic soundscapes. These range from the cinematic, Fennesz-type extended synth pads of “Continental Shifts” to more infectious pieces of nocturnal synth-pop, like the excellent “Dark Cul-De-Sac”, reminiscent of M83’s late-night synth stunners. Trombetta continues to produce highly original songs worthy of an immediate listen. Waveguides and efforts like “Dark Cul-De-Sac” continue this habit.
Stream Waveguides in full below, and purchase it on Bandcamp: