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Tim J Grant releases Fluorescent Lamp Pop

Distorted guitar chaos. Playful beats skewing a conventional melody. Effervescent basslines that are as translucent as they are thought-provoking and startlingly emotional. Mischievous rhythms that beg for us to dig deeper in the master mix. In songs like “Stand (With Your Heart in My Hand),” “You Fooled Me Once,” “The Roads,” “I Want to Know” and “Never Tried Dreaming,” multi-instrumentalist maestro Tim J Grant introduces audiences to his original brand of contemporary psychedelia that is as indebted to the textured grooves of electronic pop as it is erudite jazz virtuosity. Though these tracks are as wildly imaginative as they come, they’re only a fraction of what Grant has in store for anyone who picks up a copy of his all-new album Fluorescent Lamp Pop, which is out now everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed. A sprawling, magnetic LP that sees him teaming with singers like Tara Lynn, Ahbee, Kirsa Moonlight, Ina Bravo and Bellz to name a few, Fluorescent Lamp Pop is guaranteed to get a reaction out of even the most discriminating of music enthusiasts, if not through its vivid, highbrow lyricism, than via its swanky and sophisticated depth of musicality.

Tim J Grant is joined by a litany of vocalists and lyricists in this album, and though their individual styles vary significantly across the pop spectrum, these songs never feel crammed together or too polarizing in structure to share the same tracklist. Amy Kirkpatrick shines like the diamond she is in “One Too Many Times,” but her boisterous vibrato doesn’t overshadow the contribution from Krysta in songs like “The Accidental Life” and “Lighting Your World” in the least. Judith Amelia closes out Fluorescent Lamp Pop with the grinding “My Beautiful Soul,” which in many ways feels like a spiritual sequel to Ina Bravo’s “Bullseye,” which gets us rolling at the beginning of the album on the back of a feverish, pulsating groove. Bellz drops some serious melodic thunder in “You Fooled Me Once,” but I think that it’s more understated material like the Cheraine Eugene-led “Don’t Miss the Verse” where we feel the full scope of Grant’s instrumental emotion in this record. There’s a lot of magic to be absorbed here, to such an extent that, personally, I recommend listening to this album in chunks as opposed to a single sitting.

Exotic, elegant and by far the most diversely-appointed LP you’ll come in contact with this spring, Fluorescent Lamp Pop stands out as one of the more urbane albums that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in the last few years, and that’s really saying something when you consider the smorgasbord of talent that has emerged from the underground in the late 2010s. Tim J Grant lets his hair down here, and issues one of the most formidable collections of songs his discography has ever seen, and for my money, it doesn’t get much better than the synthesized melodies that adorn tracks like “Stand (With Your Heart in My Hand” or “Dewey Eyed Oblivion.” He’s one of the best in his scene, and he delivers a watershed album for the ages in this most recent studio effort.

John McCall

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