Creating a lo-fi bridge between two of the best cassette labels in the scene, Brattleboro’s OSR Tapes head Zach Phillips has released a new full-length, Recorded in Heaven, on Chicago’s Lillerne Tapes. Phillips writes charmingly uncertain pop songs that have an off-kilter nervous energy similar to his work in groups like Better Psychics and Blanche Blanche Blanche. Here, however, the result is more hushed, with Phillips delivering his idiosyncratic lyrics in a warm, low monotone, punctuated by staccato pianos and decaying synths. The barely-shorter-than-average title track, clocking in at 48 seconds, exemplifies the delightfully odd sonic space he has carved out for himself: a pleasant melody and acoustic guitar progression hint at familiar tropes of folk and vintage psych, but it’s coated here in disorienting squelches and ends abruptly, unresolved. Phillips twists apart the conventions of pop narrative, working with a crude palette to create something that pulls the listener towards a colorful future.
Check out the track "Recorded in Heaven" below. Recorded in Heaven is available now on CS or as a digital download from Lillerne Tapes.