CHIMNEY is the eponymous debut of a solo project by producer, engineer, multi-instrumentalist, and Lucius drummer Dan Molad. Molad's studio résumé includes a few of the more artful indie rock outfits to emerge from Brooklyn in the 2000s and 2010s, such as San Fermin, Here We Go Magic, and Pavo Pavo, in addition to Lucius. Entirely self-produced and self-recorded, his solo debut offers a bittersweet set of indie pop with glimmers of Beatlesque experimentalism and lo-fi singer/songwriter immediacy, full of playful timbres, rich atmosphere, missed friends, and lost love. The intro to the first track, "Holy Man," mixes cave-dwelling plunking sounds with alternately late and rushed drums that don't settle into a regular rhythm until just before Molad's voice enters with: "I've been some things I can't forget when I've wanted to." The sense of unease continues despite tuneful layers of twinkling electronics, tight vocal harmonies, and an easygoing groove. Song titles like "Wake Up When It Dies" and "Paintings Are the Only Place You Never Lied to Me," along with plenty of tape echo and rhythms that have a loping whimsicality to them keep the record in an unsettled reflective space. One of the sparer entries is "Little One," which Molad wrote and recorded the night after the death of a childhood friend (comedy writer Harris Wittels). It starts as a seemingly simple acoustic guitar tribute but morphs into a confused swirl of vocals and pitch sliding. On the other extreme, album closer "Copicat" is an ebullient, bass-accented ditty ("It all feels na-na-na-na") that stumbles and melts into and out of hooks and heavy psychedelia. The album, in general, has a kind of heightened realism with the vibe of a Charlie Kaufman film and is a potential gem to similar audiences.
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AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson