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Star Parks Album Review: The New Sounds of Late Capitalism (Modern Outsider) - Music

Star Parks Album Review: The New Sounds of Late Capitalism (Modern Outsider) – Music

The lounge-y Fifties genre of exotica pulled inspiration from unspecified faraway locales, aestheticized through the lens of American fantasy. Songwriter Andy Bianculli, who notes the niche as a reference for his sophomore LP as Star Parks, employs a similar Instagram filter to postmodern discontent on The New Sounds of Late Capitalism. High note “Oh Boredom (Schmaltz City, USA)” views the zeitgeisty subject from a Wes Anderson-enchanted vantage, and it’s certainly schmaltzy. “Cafes in the park/ Politics and art/ And other brands of bourgeois bullshit” croons Bianculli amid bright horns and backing vocalizations. Since compact chamber pop debut Don’t Dwell, he now fronts a small orchestra, captured in full swell by Lockhart producer Danny Reisch. Every beat teems with whimsical flourish. In describing “Something More,” the maestro told Popmatters, “There’s a lot of Motown in there and everything from bells and tingshas [to] car keys and a garden weasel as well.” Beside clear Sixties references, sprightly hand-claps and ramshackle buildups land closer to the stompy revivalism of 2000s acts like the Walkmen and Edward Sharpe the Magnetic Zeros. Alongside breezy “Landlady,” the minimal beginning of “One Big Sigh” offers a ready breathing room. Halfway through the track, carnival theatrics kick in and you’re back in the thrall.