Southern gothic author Flannery O’Connor’s piercing novel Wise Blood
tells the story of a recently returned WWII soldier struggling with his faith and attempting to start a “Holy Church of Christ Without Christ”. There’s also a side plot about a gorilla and a mummy, but the whole thing finds wry humor and mystic depth in the odd dusk. Similarly, Id
, Christopher Laufman’s new LP as Wise Blood
questions traditions, blends lines, and straddles worlds, all with a dark smirk.
Musically, much of Id plays out like Animal Collective with an orchestral bent, or Why? sticking to a soul groove. Patches of twisted trumpet play with heavily affected backing vocals, twitchy synths, and a hip hop beat on early single “Rat”, but it’s Laufman’s skipping delivery and oddball lyrics that stand out: “One day soon I’m gonna rent out a room/ I’m gonna buy a new dog and he’ll smell like perfume/ But until that time I’ll be stuck right here/ Living half my life swallowed up by this fear.”
But it’s not all nice-smelling dogs and night terrors. “Routine Reality” is the psych-pop take on the “New Workout Plan”, talk of intimidatingly dropping a towel in the locker room and doing reps on the bench press “to get swole.” Opener “Alarm” sways and swaggers, all while insisting on a need for “personal space.” Later, “Target” talks about the comfort of the titular store’s always-open schedule and stock of “DVDs on sale, undershirts, things that I just don’t need.”
The rattling album closer “Consumed” repeats the mantra “I couldn’t ask for more,” samples of a dense choir and a scratchy saxophone finding harmony between Laufman’s weary finalities. And he should be tired after creating an album in a voice so insularly his. That insularity can make tracks blend together some, but Laufman’s genre-collaging and quirky point of view make Id a compelling listen.
Essential Tracks: “Rat”, “Alarm”