Wednesday, February 22, 2012

AOTW #2: Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover

I’m of the personal belief that Spencer Krug is a musical genius. He has worked with various bands like Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Frog Eyes, Swan Lake and had recently launched a solo project under the name Moonface. I think he has developed one of the most consistent and diverse bodies of work in music today. I personally believe that the crowning achievement in Krug’s discography is Sunset Rubdown’s 2007 album Random Spirit Lover.

I went into this album having already listened to Sunset Rubdown’s 2009 album Dragonslayer, which I adored with all my heart, and still do adore to this day. So, needless to say, my expectations for Random Spirit Lover were high. I think just about any expectation I could ever dream of was either lived up to or surpassed.

The most notable thing about Random Spirit Lover is just how urgent it is. Almost every single aspect of this album, from the instrumentation to the vocals, feels like it serves an extremely important purpose. Spencer’s yelping vocals just hooked me in right from the beginning. I had always liked his voice in the Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown albums that I’d listened to prior to Random Spirit Lover, but these vocals turned up the passion dial all the way up to 11 for me.

To go along with how urgent and bombastic the vocals are is just how dense the instrumentation on this album is. There are so many different moments where tension builds and releases with such complexity. When Songs like “Magic Vs. Midas” finally burst wide open it makes me just want to punch the air in excitement. I’ve never seen these songs performed live, but when I do (it’s a mission of mine), I’m sure I’ll be up front jumping around and singing like an crazy lunatic.

The other thing about the instrumentation on this album that attracts me is just how dark it is. Some of the sounds on this album can be downright scary sometimes. One of my favourite such moments is during the song ”Stallion”. The keyboards on that song are some of the most demented that I’ve heard in my life. Even though “Stallion” stands out to me as a creepy track, there is a cloak of creepiness and weirdness over almost this entire album.

So, when I first heard this album, I was hooked. I knew immediately that I loved it just because of how weird and powerful it was. But as I began to listen to it more and more, it started to grow on me too. I know that sounds weird to say about an album that I instantly loved, but it’s the truth. I just found that there were so many interesting nuances to explore. Listening to this album was a daily occurrence for me for about 2 months. I’m still not sure that I fully understand what it has to offer, but I know that whatever it’s selling, I’m buying it.


"Up On Your Leopard, Upon The End Of Your Feral Days"

"Magic Vs. Midas"


  1. Random Spirit Lover is the best album of 2007... and yeah, that's not an easy thing to accomplish.

  2. also, it probably has the worst album art I've ever seen in my life.

  3. I totally share your sentiments about “Stallion” and “Magic vs. Midas” and the rest of the album. Ah, so good.