You Should Have Seen Our Face
By assembling as many ramshackle parts together as possible, “Jealousy” becomes a highlight of an album filled with them. The synths are sparse, the rhythms are basic, the vocal a fragile falsetto, and a harmonica interjects weakly into the mix, all creating a magical playground. It’s a blueprint for how much of Physiques’ unusual power comes together. Even the sturdier-sounding “Hot Fruit” consists of instrumentation that could blow over in a mild windstorm. On their second album, however, the band are about energy and enthusiasm and an eclectic love of pop music that sticks joyous backing vocals in the weirdest places and melodies that sometimes sound like a game of cat and mouse. Produced by Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, Physiques began as incomplete sketches that were developed through improvisation, revision, and magic, expressing frontman Steven Reker’s love for avant-garde and pop art. Clearly, Jen Goma’s vocals further add to the tonal palette and the sense of wild abandon and wonder. Bandmates James Rickman and Booker Stardrum and a variety of guests (including former band member Ian Chang on drums) fill out the ranks.