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Spooky Action at a Distance

Lotus Plaza: Spooky Action at a Distance

  • Lotus Plaza
  • Alternative & Indie
  • Out now
  • Kranky
  • Everywhere
reviewed by
Steven Viney
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Lotus Plaza: Spooky Action at a Distance

Lockett Pundt has really come
into his own with Spooky Action at a Distance, his sophomore album as
Lotus Plaza. In a nutshell, the album is a beautiful, self-produced compilation
of reverb drenched melancholic anthems.

Lotus Plaza is the name of
Pundt’s solo project, into which he pours his creative efforts when he is not
busy being the guitarist of Deerhunter; the ambient punk band where he shares
the stage with vocalist Bradford Cox, aka Atlas Sound

There is usually a certain
mystery that shrouds Pundt, both on stage and during interviews, as he rarely
lifts his eyes off the floor, and the few phrases he does mumble are often
filled with ethereal sadness. On YouTube, fans’ comments are usually
desperately yearning for him to speak up and say more.

So when Lotus Plaza’s debut
album, The Floodlight Collective, came out in 2009, fans were excited to
finally get a chance to look into the mind of Pundt. But the album felt as
though he had gone out of his way to not be heard; obscuring his lyrics almost
completely with noise and reverb.      

With Spooky Action however,
it appears Pundt has actively brought the intimate delicacy of his craft to the
forefront. Call it what you want, heightened confidence or self-improvement;
whatever it is, it sounds brilliant.

In 2012, the idea of ‘reverb
drenched anthems’ naturally sounds incredibly cliché, but Pundt executes this
feat with gorgeous idiosyncrasy. The result is ten well-crafted songs that sit
somewhere between melancholic anthem and delicate optimistic ballad – think of
a more sensitive Bloody Valentine mixed with British magazine NME’s compilation
C86 cassette tape.

The music is generally guitar
driven; manifesting in either reverbed obscurity with songs such as ‘Out of
Touch’ and ‘Monoliths,’ or in fragile strumming with the ballad ‘Black Buzz.’

The lyrics are often brutally
straightforward and honest, and often seem to be longing for some sort of unconditional
love; but not in a nagging way. The song ‘Dusty Rhodes’ asks the listener “If
there comes a day when I must go/would you come with me/so we won’t be alone?”
with a happy-go-lucky sense of optimism.

All in all, Spooky Action
is a remarkably solid album, and certainly one of the best indie records
released so far this year. Each track delivers potent insight into a different
aspect of Pundt’s personality, and welcomes strong connection to the listener.

The title of the record, Spooky
Action at a Distance
, comes from the physics phenomena ‘action at a
distance,’ where two objects can interact with each other without having to be
in the same planar reality – and that’s what the album offers, if you let it.

That being said, the best way
to listen to Spooky Action is to just let the album play until it hooks
you, which it will, if self-produced indie music is your thing. This record
entices the listener to continually long to return to the album to hear what else
Pundt has to say – the mark of any good art.

Like This? Try

Deerhunter, Atlas Sound, Real Estate

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