Grab a hearty serving of Black Moth Super Rainbow, add a sprinkle of Bibio, garnish with a dreamy, shoegaze vibe and voila! The soft synths in TW Walsh’s latest work, Fruitless Research, graces the soundwaves. Previously a member of Pedro the Lion, Walsh has moved on to more solo work in recent times. It’s been five years since his last album, but Fruitless shakes off the dust.

Walsh starts off with “Public Radio,” a trippy doppelganger of Black Moth’s Dandelion Gum. Yet, even with voice modulation and flute-like pitter-patters, he maintains a consistent beat throughout the album, while giving every song a unique appeal. Everything feels slightly magical, enhanced by that faint, digitized echo to Walsh’s voice. Keep an ear out for the ebb and flow of his tune in “Shallow Water.” A little bit of rock–as much as you put into a electro-pop outfit–introduces the upbeat track, “Young Rebels,” with quick snare hits and distorted sound. After that, the energy level calms. The same catchy beat remains, but the flair has left, leaving behind a melancholic atmosphere. However, “Chocolate Milk” breaks that pattern for a bit with the outro: a roller coaster build-up of beats and buzzes, suddenly cut short by silence.

Fruitless Research departs from 2011’s Songs of Pains and Leisure in various regards; a new mood and the folk rock versus electronic sway. Even the album art became more structured and geometric. The smoke clouds and asymmetrical fires on Songs of Pain even out their edges. Now, a faded, baby-smooth circle overlaid with a chunky maze. TW Walsh envelops the listener in the waves of Fruitless, but it remains far from perfect; he creates a captivating groove, but it lacks spice. 

Album Review: TW Walsh - Fruitless Research
Pros
  • Consistent
  • Dreamy
Cons
  • Not much pizazz
7.7Overall Score

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