CANT is the new musical endeavour by Grizzly Bear bassist Chris Taylor, obviously being a member and producer for Grizzly Bear wasn’t enough musical creativity for him. Dissimilar to Grizzly Bear, a band armed with slow builders and atmospheric soundscapes, CANT takes on a more electronic and partly ambient role. As well as being producer for the past three Grizzly Bear albums, Taylor’s producing alumni has also included The Morning Benders and Twin Shadow. As if this wasn’t enough, Chris Taylor has co-founded his own record label, Terrible Records and built the recording studio, Terrible Studios all by himself, nothing quite says self sufficient like creating your own record company and record studio… Dreams Come True is the debut full length from Chris Taylor’s solo project and the seventh record to be released through Terrible Records.
Part ambient disco, part videogame soundtrack material, Dreams Come True combines hushed, restrained vocals with 90s garage drum machine and oriental inspired instrumentals. Taylor’s masked vocals take on different forms through the album, resembling the emotional wreck of Perfume Genius at some points and providing a weirdly empowering effect at others. This is one of those albums in which every song sounds different but in an understated way. This is evident with elements of different genres strewn throughout including jazz, electronic and even slow jams with the bleary eyed, pleasant drone of “Believe.”
Interlude “(brokencollar)” is refreshing-yet-melancholy, giving the listener a more classical insight into Taylor’s musical talents. “She’s Found A Way” starts off as a suited departure from “(brokencollar)” with Taylor’s sombre voice and an acoustic vibe but transitions into delayed echoing drum beats and a sinister bass line, by far the most epic point on the album. Title track “Dreams Come True” doesn’t stray far from the vibe of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score for The Social Network with a satanic growl accompanying a sinister instrumental which sounds like a gruesome fight between electronic equipment instead of being texturally layered.
There’s no doubt that Chris Taylor has got the orchestrated chaos thing down and although it might seem like a cacophony of sounds to some, he’s talented at what he does. A world away from Grizzly Bear, Taylor manages to stand on his own two feet and create a pretty decent debut album. Although “Dreams Come True” is prone to fading into the background at points, part of the beauty is the understated nature CANT upholds. A suitable album for the start of autumn, tinged with sadness and crisp tones that remind you of having to wake up when it’s still dark outside.
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