Destined to be most recognized as “the side project of the drummer from Caribou,” Pick a Piper follows in the same style of electronic footprint as Caribou. This independent foray (the first physical release, coming after two digital EPs) is a perfectly acceptable record that’s technically proficient but perhaps lacks anything more than that.
There are some exceptions to the rule. “Once Were Leaves,” which features vocals by Raphaelle Standell-Preston of Braids, feels less driven by conventional song structure. Given the time to pace themselves and give a slight build in the conclusion, looping the vocals and raising the tempo, Pick a Piper show that they perhaps work best when not simply creating dancefloor tracks. “South to Polynesia” gives itself even more time to pace itself and experiment with some additional brass instrumentation. In fact, it’s the middle and latter half of this record that is the most worthwhile, with the more straightforward hits toward the front of the disc.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this record will be when Brad Weber is too close to sounding like Caribou. We know what he’s able to do in that capacity; what he shows us here in a more down-to-earth electronic fashion is also interesting, though we don’t necessarily hear enough of it on this release. (Mint Records, mintrecs.com) Devin King