Multi-instrumentalist Liam White (aka GhostNoises) crafts off-kilter bedroom pop of the above-average variety, presumably inspired by the intense boredom and existential angst resulting from, you know, living in Canberra. His debut album, Some Useful Songs, is an intriguing patchwork of musical ideas – with traces of country, hip-hop and chamber-pop all cropping up throughout the course of its nine tracks.
White comes closest to achieving his grand ambitions in the opening two tracks. ‘How They Sound’ mixes sonorous brass and woodwind with patchy, lo-fi drum machine sounds to intriguing effect (think a more-chilled out tUnE yArDs), and ‘The Procedure’ sounds like Sufjan Stevens being attacked by an impressive percussion ensemble.
While the album has its fair share of hits, a few tracks just miss the mark. ‘I Left A Champion’, is almost 10 minutes long and the pure 90’s R&B of ‘I’m Scared’ jarrs somewhat with the predominately organic sound of the rest of the release.
Overall, while Some Useful Songs has its share of flaws, it’s otherwise an intriguing and pleasingly schizophrenic introduction to an artist who has a lot to offer.