Sam Prekop - ‘Who’s Your New Pro­fes­sor’

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS - Donal Di­neen

Bands are cu­ri­ous en­ti­ties when you think about it. The dy­namic be­tween the peo­ple in­volved has a large role to play in what kind of sound evolves and songs emerge. You can tell when it’s all work­ing in uni­son by the amount of pride a group takes in their work. Es­pe­cially when the mu­sic is this great.

Some­times there’s one per­son pulling the strings. Less of­ten, ev­ery­one plays equally im­por­tant roles and the com­po­si­tion process is en­tirely demo­cratic.

Ra­dio­head would claim to be in the lat­ter cat­e­gory yet Thom Yorke has ef­fec­tively made two solo al­bums on a par with any­thing the band have done and in a largely sim­i­lar vein.

In Ire­land, we have The Redneck Man­i­festo who col­lec­tively and in­di­vid­u­ally have made out­stand­ing mu­sic over two decades. In their case, the in­di­vid­ual mem­ber’s solo ef­forts seem to chime bet­ter when their friends are in­volved in some way.

And so it is with Chicago stal­warts The Sea and Cake. To­gether, they have made at least three LPs that are cer­ti­fi­ably great. Their in­di­vid­ual ef­forts have been some­what patchier, but in singer Sam Prekop’s case, his solo work tends to shine like di­a­monds.

Who’s Your New Pro­fes­sor, his sopho­more LP from 2005, stands out. Pro­duc­tion is by John McEn­tire and the chim­ing pres­ence of Archer Pre­witt’s gui­tar play­ing em­bel­lishes through­out. Prekop’s soul­ful croon hits the sweet spot every time on its ever-chang­ing moods.

The easy­go­ing sump­tu­ous na­ture of some of the jams hint that he took his game up to fit the role of solo artist. There are so many ex­quis­ite in­stru­men­tal ges­tures it feels anoma­lous to call it pop, yet that is most cer­tainly what it is.

Pop in the sense that these jazz in­flected melodies are sharp as a tack and se­duc­tive enough to make you im­me­di­ately want to stick around for more. It’s easy to get hooked. Yet all the tiny ges­tures also ren­der it oblique and haunt­ing. There’s great beauty in the de­tail. It’s a shame mu­sic this good never makes it to the air­waves.

Your ra­dio could badly do with pop this re­fined and classy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.