Designer

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Designer

Designer is the third album from New Zealand musician Aldous Harding. Its modus operandi seems to be beautiful, mellow arrangements over a bare bones - but cool and funky rhythm section (think 1960s French funk-rock a la Serge Gainsbourg / Jean Claude Vannier). It's a spotless mix of surreal pop and (mostly) sad, stripped back introspection, the only real constant being the ultra slow tempo. These lush compositions bring to mind a host of artists and genres over the nine songs. "Zoo Eyes" has nods to the subtler end of brit-pop, "Fixture Picture" is a pop gem in the vein of Super Furry Animals and "The Barrel" (which has an air of Cate le Bon) sounds like it's been custom made for a Wes Anderson road trip scene. Put it all together and you've got a pleasant 40 minutes, an album to stick on in the sunshine and an outside contender for album of the year.