Lambchop, FLOTUS

Justin Hernandez

Lambchop, FLOTUS [Merge Records]

Nashville’s Lambchop have released their new album FLOTUS, which stands for “For Love Often Turns Us Still” and not simply the First Lady of the United States as the album art may suggest. FLOTUS casts Lambchop’s country folk sound in a digital, hip-hop light, the record being the coalescence of a number of frontman Kurt Wagner’s musical influences and inspirations. With FLOTUS, Wagner and Lambchop have certainly redefined their own sound and perhaps that of a genre.

The album opens with the mellow, percussive electric guitar strumming of “In Care of 8675309”. The song is a digitized dream of 70’s folk that tumbles along, shades of Gospel, country, and classic rock shining through while slightly effected vocals run along its edges. “Directions to the Can” creates a spare, jazzy atmosphere through a building, shuffling breakbeat and dry vocal musings against falsetto intonations. The album’s title track follows, its auto-tuned lyrics drifting along on the tune’s breezy R & B piano and bass beat.

The meditative “JFK” and “Howe” exemplify the soulful electronica of FLOTUS while “Old Masters” features some of the album’s chillest grooves. The vocal experimentation of “Relatives #2” gives way to a collapsing beat that propels the song forward, a beautiful cascade of keys underscoring its journey. “Harbor Country” has a dark, relaxed vibe that flows into the dreamy echoes of “Writer”. “NIV” layers classic and futuristic tones upon one another into a blissful pop wave that courses along into the cinematic grandeur of “The Hustle”, the album’s almost twenty minute closer.

FLOTUS is available now on Merge Records. You can follow Lambchop on Facebook, Twitter, and on their website a www.lambchop.net.

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