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Album #166: Drab City – Good Songs For Bad People

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: San Francisco, California, USA/Berlin, Germany
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Best Track: Troubled Girl

I’ve been sitting on this debut LP from the dreamy, glitchy duo Drab City. Its eerie, intriguing and I’m still not totally sure whether I like it.

I like the name of both the band and the album. The ghostly, monochrome cover is cool too. It all reeks of bleakness, melancholy and seems, well, drab.

As for the music, I sort of like it. Maybe it’s a bit wasted on me as my tastes can be a bit simplistic. With their glitchy beats, haunting vocals and occasional jazzy infusions, they develop a paranoid, claustrophobic sound that sounds like something that would come out of Bristol.

In fact, Drab City are half American (the producer who goes by the bizarre name of oOoOO) and half German (a singer known as Asia). This faint sense of anonymity only adds to the record’s intrigue factor.

‘Troubled Girl’ is my favourite track, notable for its breathy and memorable chorus. Perhaps the most vocally interesting is ‘Just Me & You’, where the vocals harmonise (Asia harmonising with herself, I think) and even turn towards scat singing.

It’s a record I want to like, and I think I do. Maybe I should return to it in a few weeks with a clearer frame of mind.

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