Tape Loops is a completely different beast from Chris Walla’s 2008 solo debut, Field Manual. Its sparse abstraction reflects a desire to get away from the more constructed rock sound that he’s traded in for over ten years with Death Cab, and into the studio rat side of him that enabled him to produce all of his old band’s albums. He committed to splicing together the album physically, using only analog loop-based recording techniques, a process that’s largely been abandoned with the rise of digital technology. The result is an wonderfully intimate record that’s largely atmospheric, more evocative of the cold Scandinavian environment that he recently moved to with his family than the brisk Northwest that marked his earlier productions. We’ve already heard the album’s opening salvo, “Kanta’s Theme,” and now the whole record is streaming via NPR below. Be sure to check out Walla’s very illuminating Interview with Sara Quin, as well.
Tape Loops is out 10/16 via Trans Records.