We reviewed the new album from Prang – The Idea Of An Ever Shrinking Life
Dan Johnson, otherwise known as Prang is a man of many talents, especially when he contributed to nearly every aspect of his new record, The Idea Of An Ever Shrinking Life.
The London-based artist cultivates his craft for unique indie rock sounds with decadent guitar tones and body-moving riffs. I previously reviewed the track Haunting from this album. Its upbeat direction with delicate guitar notes, engaging harmonisations and Foals-esc rhythms really caught my attention and got me excited for checking out the full project.
Welcome Home, the opener to the album, is a slow but classic indie rock track. The bass and drum-orientated verse progress into low vocals and sonic lead riffs. It’s a gentle beginning to an album that looks to be taking indie in a vintage direction. For the beginning of an album, it isn’t the most engaging piece, but the production and tonality of the instruments feel like it’s an album you can place in many different decades.
We Were All Just Doing Fine continues the upbeat and bopping indie riffs seen in Haunting, and the vocal effects melt into the drum rhythms and jangly guitars. The chords ring out so warmly, even if the lyrics don’t match it, the music feels so warm and inviting. The harmonised vocals once more provide something to Prang’s sound, like the second voice is its own instrument. It will be interesting to see how these tracks are played out live and what Prang does with his varied instrumentation. The chorus is accessible and an instant indie floor filler.
New Direction does what it says on the tin and directs the sound and tempo in a new direction with the sounds of a guitar tone or woodwind instrument playing underneath the drums and bass. Prang’s layered deep vocals are smooth and of easy-tempo instrumentation before his already classic sound of bopping guitar leads returns. New Direction’ss outro of wavy high pitched wailing and a variety of tempos is almost haunting.
Milk is a soothing guitar/vocal introduction with guitar notes ringing out before electric drums accompany them. The intro feels gospel and poetic. It’s a track that maintains the same tempo throughout and perhaps six minutes is asking a lot from the listener. It could easily be halved.
Can’t Get Enough is slow and relaxing. There’s quite the balance of slow and upbeat on this album giving you breathing space. It’s a delightful psych rock piece like Tame Impala with spacey guitar effects and soothing harmonised vocals. The lead riffs are sunny and this is a much better slow song than Milk. The guitars are taking you on a sonic journey and I’m happy to be along for the ride.
The self-titled track is a merging of slow and deep vocals and janky guitar notes. It sounds like it shouldn’t fit together but somehow it does. The guitars become more disorientated as the verse builds up which could put listeners off, but its explosion into a speedy chorus makes up for it. The conclusion to the track of erratic feedback sums everything up. It’s an eerie and bizarre piece of music.
Spirali is as delicious as the pasta it’s named after with lo:fi guitar notes and wavy vocals. We’re back to the classic indie sound introduced early on in the album. The guitar tones are presenting something new and it’s a sound I couldn’t point out in anything previous. The rhythms of the instruments and vocals are a happy-go-lucky pop piece that will no doubt resonate well on stage. The drum production sounds raw but I like how it’s dominating the sounds of the other instruments without confliction.
Red Wool shows that the album is going in a smoother direction as we near the end. It’s ethereal and atmospheric with the vocals sounding less produced than before. It adds a much more personal touch over the electric drums and warming pianos. It sounds like a lo:fi Gorillaz track and is a simple but effective track all things considered.
Foolproof is another upbeat track (I thought we were done with you.) The galloping drums and harmonised vocals are back it’s another psychedelic rock piece with a variety of vocal styles. Prang is presenting his skills both instrumentally and vocally. It has all the makings of an accessible indie track. The rest of the record follows suit in its remaining tracks with the vocals sounding a lot more soothing.
Excluding its softer moments and breaks, Prang is nothing but consistent in developing his indie rock sound with glorious guitar tones and engaging rhythms. I’m hooked from the second track and his Foals-esc vibe keeps me coming back for more.