June Panic - Hope You Fail Better
Already notable for his adenoidal croon, nascent pop melodies and startlingly evocative writing, and having waxed poetic on everything from circumcision to Heideggarian philosophy, June Panic had yet to deliver his breakthrough release, despite some 11 albums of creaky indie singer-songwriter fare and lo-fi noise to his credit. Hope You Fail Better comes as a revelation—his tightest, most richly produced collection of songs, clearing off some of the haze of previous releases and reining in his more exploratory tendencies in favor of tough guitars and bigger choruses. Those looking for further evidence of the latent spiritual convictions that bubbled uncomfortably to the surface in last year’s Baby’s Breadth will be interested to note that the Danielson Famile’s mastermind Daniel Smith mans the boards and adds just a little of the band’s Technicolor texture to the arrangements. All in all, it might not be his most audacious work but it certainly ranks as his most confident and consistent release to date.