Album of the Day: Profligate, “Somewhere Else”

Begun as the solo project of ex-Social Junk member Noah Anthony several years ago, Profligate has cycled through countless styles over a long string of albums and EPs, finally arriving at a winning combination of pop, experimental music, and techno. The gurgling industrial rhythms that characterized earlier Profligate records still make the occasional appearance, but the new songs are defined by space, minimalism, and ghostly hooks—think of it as synthpop played in a dimly lit graveyard.

Somewhere Else sees the addition of a second band member—Los Angeles-based poet and musician Elaine Kahn (Horsebladder)—whose sirenic sighs add a variance and substance to Profligate’s throbbing foundation. From her haunting spoken monologue on “Lose A Little” to her turn on lead vocals in “Black Pate” and “Needle In Your Lip,” Kahn’s light, sensual alto balances Anthony’s baritone croon and sparse bass guitar. Somewhere Else boasts a strong arc; its title track, the collection’s crown jewel, serves as a kind of gondolier, ferrying the listener through Profligate’s somnambulant, hallucinatory world.

Jordan Reyes

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