Handsome Furs: Sound Kapital

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Handsome Furs
Sound Kapital
(Sub Pop)

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Sound Kapital is actually a departure for the duo of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry, for they have made a conscious decision to move to an all-keyboard and drum machine-based humanist album.  It may sound like an oxymoron, but I purport that the energy, emotion, and kinetic life that suffices their earlier albums also reigns on Sound Kapital. Boeckner’s voice is so effortlessly rebellious that it’s easy to mistake every song for an anthem.

I’ve found that many tracks, exemplified by “Damage,” actually combine the bubbly vibe that Perry embodies with the rocking exhortations of Boeckner; two artists attached to one another to such a degree that their collaboration is nearly seamless.

Interestingly this Handsome Furs third album stands as it’s own offering simply because it is such a departure that harkens to what fans loved previously about this band.  The album name references an independent Chinese music scene that is entirely Western-based, a nod to the thread that allows a continuation of Perry and Boeckner’s exploration of East meshing with West.  The culture of these two historically “other scenes” is subject matter for Handsome Furs’ musing, inspiration, and art as they find a road in between, a path to stitch together the two historically apart but modernly inexorably entwined traditions.

In the end, this exploration and growth is what draws me to Handsome Furs. There are themes that remain the same throughout their albums, a sensibility that anchors a fan base, but their ability to enlighten and expose a listener to other sensibilities is the true strength of this act.

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