Jack Stauber // HiLo
Jack Stauber is inventing his own lexicon of calculated absurdity.
HiLo is an album perfectly comfortable in its own weird skin. In terms of that welcome ever-present weirdness, there's an ever-so-slight uptick of maturity from Stauber's fantastic 2017 Pop Food, albeit in the most relative sense possible. Jack Stauber is inventing his own lexicon of calculated absurdity. This album brings divergent elements together in a hissing neon stew. There's the emotive vulnerability of tracks like "It's Alright," the dance-ready disco hits of "Dead Weight" and "Leopard," along with the idiosyncratic fresh-out-of-the-toaster perfection of "Small World." In terms of lyrical and instrumental tones, comparisons with Ariel Pink are still quite apt, but a listener may only need those to roughly set their compass by, as Stauber is quite possibly the furthest thing from derivative. The General McLane alumni, current Pittsburgh resident, and frequent guest at Basement Transmissions is carving out his own slice of fandom. Followers of the artist's online outlets will be treated to a multimedia experience, with short VHS-style videos made by Stauber, most similar to a fever dreamed acid flashback of a 1980s children's cartoon. — Nick Warren