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Standout Track: “Alley,” a minimalist, herky-jerky organ burst of self-actualization. “I prefer to walk down the alley,” yelps Pearie Sol, the pseudonymous one-man band on this keys-and-beats debut (and a member of DIY stalwarts Gauche and Teen Liver). “My shoes echo on the brick,” he sings with glee and menace, a little like Klaus Nomi or Pere Ubu’s David Thomas. “And it smells like shit!”
Musical Motivation: An alley, obviously. The idea for the song—about choosing a less obvious, seedier path in life—came to Sol as he walked to his car from his home in Mount Pleasant and decided to take the back route. “There’s a lot of trashcans and a decent amount of rats,” he says, pressed to describe the decisive alley. “It’s kind of nice, because you get to see people’s backyards and the more intimate parts of their houses. But there’s definitely that smell…and there’s definitely a lot of rats.”
Nonstop Feeling: “Alley” was the last song Sol wrote for his seven-song debut, which on cassette and live coheres into a cohesive, 20-or-so-minute work of organ (a Wurlitzer Learning Module), drum machine (Rhythm Ace), synth (Casio SK-1), and voice (wiry, crazed). “I started to perform and I liked the idea of filling the space,” Sol says. “Not having song-space-song-applause, but having it be more like one constant thing…. having a little show.” But the project is both performative and personal, he says. “I wouldn’t say it’s too much of a character. I’d say it’s focusing a part of me into one idea.” That part of him—Pearie Sol—involves interior concerns (“a lot of writing about anxiety and being introverted and depressed”), an outwardly giddy and deranged singing style (initially inspired by David Byrne, until it became its own thing), and a tilted sense of humor and release. “There’s a certain joy in it, I think,” Sol says. “Like running through a field with your arms in the air.”
Pearie Sol’s S/T tape is available now from Sister Polygon Records.