Lou Barlow’s first solo effort in 5 plus years is just as vulnerable and off kilter as his previous efforts. That said, among the veritable armada of bearded singer-songwriters, Lou Barlow has an attention to complex song composition and bass grooves not typical of the genre.
In that regard this is a deeply schizophrenic album. Songs like “Moving” offer a stripped down grunge rock sound with a smart folk aesthetic. On the other hand, tracks like “Wave” are light and bubbly affairs with intermittent minor notes via a dark and misplaced bass line. Despite the sometimes conflicted directions, “Brace the Wave” has a child like quality to it in both presentation and production. Lyrically the album makes some interesting choices but does tend to dip into cliche’ on occasion.
DJ’s looking to add a bit of folk to an electronic set will find a strangely apt fit with Barlow. Likewise any folk-indie type set would do well to give a nod Mr. Barlow’s way. If only to see how the weirdos do it.
Recommended If You Like: Anything folk with a good bass.
Recommended Tracks: 3 (Moving), 5 (Wave), 7 (Boundaries)
Do Not Play: 2 (Nerve)
Written by Matthew Kay on 08/31/2015