Peter Broderick

These Walls of Mine

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Peter Broderick's continuing interest in a kind of compositional amalgam of moody indie/electronic pop and post-ambient arrangements recurs on These Walls of Mine, with the key being his exploration of his own and others' words and voices. Whether as central to lyric delivery or scattered throughout the mix of a song as sonic element or contrast, voices generally split between Broderick's sometimes direct speak-sing delivery (or a feeling of singing via rhythmic starts and stops) and backing vocals taking on a more soothing counterpart that's also part commentary, as on a song like "When I Blank I Blank." On a song like "I've Tried," where call-and-response vocals slip away into a whispered break backed almost tone for tone by a slightly tortured violin and a soothing crisp arrangement that slots into the dream pop/R&B of recent times. Broderick steps to the fore with "Inside Out There" at the very start, a soft but crisp voice cutting through glitches and bubblings of sound and other calls, all while an understated rhythm roil that's part beat and, again, part voice leads the way. "Freyr!" consists of an e-mail Broderick calmly reads about a missing cat while a jaunty arrangement plays, then followed by snippets of that e-mail turned into lyrics to sing by an overdubbed chorus of himself, while "I Do This" acts as a double-tracked explanation of his thoughts on art and aesthetics over a gentle guitar part, with a suddenly sweet backing response. On the first of the two title tracks, Broderick goes full Alvin Lucier -- to a degree -- in introducing himself and his recording situation before reading out lyrics like a quick burst of story poetry, with the second track, immediately following, being an attempt to work it out over an arrangement presumably already created. "Copenhagen Ducks" acts as a clattering rhythm piece that falls away to just the chants, with bemusing but appropriate lines like "Pretty sure that's the same duck...they all kinda look the same to me" and "He's the only one around here" recurring as backing singing.

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