New Goo’s patchwork bedroom pop creates its own peculiar giddiness | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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New Goo’s patchwork bedroom pop creates its own peculiar giddiness


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Chicago singer-songwriter Kelso Ashby makes whimsical bedroom pop as New Goo, stacking lo-fi percussion, spectral synths, and featherweight vocals. On their new self-released album, Picture of a Picture, they draw from the magnetic, euphoric throb of house music, which dovetails with the raw underpinnings in their intimate material. “Tension” cycles among several threadbare drum loops that hustle the song’s limber funk bass line through wobbly keyboard notes and electronic froufrou. Ashby relies on a limited palette of synthetic sounds, which lends a comforting familiarity even to their strange, unpredictable rearrangements of blinking keys and cracked percussion. Ashby’s peculiar sonic choices often sharpen New Goo’s songs rather than distracting from them: on “Nothingpainsme,” the accordionlike wheezing that cradles their tender, swooning chorus vocal creates a distinctive kind of pop giddiness.   v

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