Don't forget about Casiotone for the Painfully Alone.
That seems to be the intent of the twinkly little electropop's latest EP, their latest work after a silent patch of two long years. And while the "Town Topic" EP sounds very much like a placeholder, the four songs on here are delicate little confections that try out the electronic and acoustic ranges.
It opens with the tapping percussion and buzzing synth of "Ice Cream Truck," a twinkly little snowflake of a song with a man mumbling about an ice cream truck. He sounds like he's been smoking some of the good stuff. And the band goes all-out in the clashing fuzzy "Green Cotton Sweater," which is as mellow and sedate as a crackling staticky song that sounds like it was filtered through an antique radio can be.
There are also a couple of more stripped-down instrumentals -- the titular track sounds like a music-hall piano being possessed by the spirit of the Fiery Furnaces, while "I Love Creedence" tries to translate their blippy casiotone sound into a more organic, laid-back sound. Not a rumbly word is spoken/sung in either song, of course.
There's something very pleasant and innocent-sounding about Casiotone For the Painfully Alone. And while an EP collecting odds and ends is certainly no substitute for a full-length album, "Town Topic" is a pleasant diversion -- although the title track is too unplugged to really fit in with the other songs.
As always, their music is very twinkly and very "out-there" -- lots of casiotone twittering and shimmering all over the place, with a heavy dose of lightweight drumming in the background. Lots of cymbals, methinks. And they manage to weave in some mellow keyboard and piano, heavy-duty synth thumps, and I think I heard a violin somewhere in the mix.
And, of course, there's the voice -- a guy with a fairly deep voice who murmurs through the sparkly tangle as if he is seriously, extraordinarily stoned.
"Town Topic" is a pretty little halfway point between Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's albums, and while it's not much else, it has some pretty little songs.