Thao Nguyen’s fifth album under the Get Down Stay Down moniker, A Man Alive, is perhaps her most fully-realized yet. Produced by tUnE-yArDs’ Merrill Garbus, it throbs and pulses in a satisfyingly art-funk way that was only previously hinted at on previous Thao records. (The closest she’s come to this sound was on her joint album with Mirah, which was also produced by Garbus.) The songs descend and spazz like toppling towers; instruments jut out like jagged knives. “The record is essentially about my relationship with my dad, its trajectory,” Nguyen explained in a press release. “It’s a document of my life in conjunction with his, even though we’ve always been leading our lives away from each other. Some are optimistic and forgiving, some are the opposite.” A Man Alive balances that incisively introspective bent with some of the most fun and weirdly inventive music you’ll hear all year. Listen via NPR below.
A Man Alive is out 3/4 via Ribbon Music.