Lace Curtains: A Signed Piece of Paper

Music Reviews
Lace Curtains: A Signed Piece of Paper

Michael Coomer (often known just as Coomers) returns after two years with his second album as Lace Curtains. The mostly-solo project emerged after his Austin-based garage rock trio Harlem disbanded in 2010. Whereas Coomers’ debut as Lace Curtains, The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness, paid homage to New York City, A Signed Piece of Paper unveils the financial extravagance and superficiality, mortality and mental illness currently proliferating in Los Angeles.

Coomers fills A Signed Piece of Paper with pop cultural references to emphasize these topics. “Boardwalk To The Alps” serves as an ode to Sly Stone’s drug addiction and fall from fame, and “Wilshire and Fairfax” is named for the intersection where Biggie Smalls was killed in a drive-by shooting. Hologram Tupac also gets a direct shoutout in “Wilshire and Fairfax,” and elsewhere, Kim Kardashian is called out by name in “Crocodile Tears.” He describes indiscriminate geniuses writing their masterpieces at Starbucks in “Pink and Gold” and hating Whole Foods in “Saint Vitus.”

But A Signed Piece of Paper sets these themes against a diverse, if inconsistent, set of musical genres. The album opens with the disco pop of “The Fly,” that reappears a few tracks later on “Glass of Sand.” “Kali” invokes the sub-Saharan desert drone blues and “Saint Vitus” hearkens back to Coomers’ old garage sounds. This wide-reaching scope of sounds contradicts the specificity of its iconic references, though. And that reflects an incongruity permeating entire album: Coomers seems like he’s trying comment on our conflicted society with A Signed Piece of Paper, but is not quite sure what to say.

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