The Soft Pink Truth traffics in revelations on Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? | Music Review | Chicago Reader

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The Soft Pink Truth traffics in revelations on Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?

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The Soft Pink Truth’s new album, Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase? (Thrill Jockey), is a soundtrack for contemplation, discovery, and the seeking of truth. The solo project of Baltimore musician Drew Daniel, best known for his work in experimental duo Matmos, the Soft Pink Truth started in response to a challenge. After Matmos released 2001’s A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure, which featured glitchy electronic sounds built from samples of medical procedures, British house producer and musician Matthew Herbert dared Daniel to apply his inventive style to house music. In response, Daniel created 2003’s bumping dance album Do You Party? (which Herbert put out on his own Soundslike label). On previous releases, the Soft Pink Truth’s signature has been marrying heady concepts with experimental, sometimes outre compositions under an EDM umbrella; 2014’s Why Do the Heathen Rage? is an especially wonderful collection of black-metal covers that uplifts the source material rather than skewering it. But Sinning takes a different approach. Daniel works with a diverse group of guest artists—including his Matmos partner, M.C. Schmidt (also his partner in life), and saxophonists John Berndt and Andrew Bernstein, who’s in Horse Lords—to create an organic, warm, and often jazzy sound. Daniel began working on the album shortly after the 2016 election, and he titled it using Paul the Apostle’s words in Romans 6:1 to express the rage and disconnect he felt during that time. But though Sinning is informed by anger, it embraces collaboration and mutual aid, using prominent vocal harmonies, tape delay, and other tools to suggest how we can create a world of our own in the face of adversity. Opening track “Shall” features guest singers Colin Self, Angel Deradoorian, and Jana Hunter, and Daniel samples their choirlike vocals to weave them into the rest of the record. The whole thing is a joyful, loud, and sometimes danceable protest against those who may call us sinners.   v

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