When I asked the Caribbean about their day jobs (librarian, lawyer, private school teacher), I mentioned “The Go From Tactical”‘s references to the end of the Go-Betweens via a vocal line reminiscent of Elliott Smith. That’s all there, but a Georgia Perris-animated video’s since affixed a Wall-E storyline to Populations’ star track. The quartet have deep roots in the D.C. area punk scene (see Townies and Dischord’s Smart Went Crazy), but you wouldn’t know it from listening to their delicate, skeletally rich encyclopedic pop (Eggs teaming with Franklin Bruno still makes an apt comparison). Before jumping into the video, get a sense of their affinity for narrative in “Bees, Their Vision And Language,” which comes packed with epistemology, metaphysics, and a protagonist (a first person loner) who gets dissed as a “plagiaristic Jew.” Now cut to the cute robot with the storm cloud over his head.
If you want some more, take another listen to “Stockhausen Serves Imperialism,” not just because Tony Conrad would agree with that sentiment.
Populations is out via Hometapes.