Nov 13, 2013 Web Exclusive
The entirety of Connan Mockasin's second album, Caramel, sounds like it was recorded underwater—backwards. This is psychedelic pop at its boldest, and Mockasin puts his emphasis on the first half of that term. Gurgling his way through waterlogged lyrics, the incomprehensibility of what Mockasin is saying is overridden by his overall tone; he sounds sincere, like a gabbling toddler telling a story. The instruments sound like they are made of rubber bands, and sometimes there are nothing but sound effects, such as on "Why Are You Crying," where panting takes the place of beats.
Half the tracks on Caramel are named "It's Your Body," distinguished only by the number that follows that title. These songlets are lo-fi, warbly, and lyrically utterly incoherent—a possible side effect of Mockasin spending too much time as a member of Charlotte Gainsbourg's backing band. What could be mistaken for whale song drifts in and out of the tracks, bringing with it a somewhat relaxed vibe, but then grinding guitars rubbed up against a speaker stack shatter that mood. When Mockasin takes a stab at his version of a "normal" song, "I Wanna Roll With You," it has a touch of Roxy Music (if they were drowning), and the seductive "I'm the Man That Will Find You" has an intoxicated grooviness to it. "Do I Make You Feel Shy" is the most conventional thing on Caramel, a soft love song that doesn't have the weirdness the rest of the album hides behind. It sounds the better for it.
With all its quirkiness, Caramel is dreamy and comforting, a bit like the confection it's named after. (www.facebook.com/connanmockasin)
Author rating: 6/10
Average reader rating: 6/10