Midi jazz chords, samples of the ocean, and a deep, pitch-shifted voice bellowing “oh yeah” were not what I expected to greet me as I began my first listen of Giraffage’s debut record. For 15 seconds I was left in cautious limbo of what kind of record Too Real was going to be.
That caution quickly subsided, as fast as the ocean faded away. The tide changed, the synths sounded and the drums kicked, and opening track ‘Do U Want Me’ had truly begun. A glitchy sample, looped over and over, could easily have taken the track too far into the realm of experimentalism. Thankfully, the poppy production and glistening synths ensured the track was an enjoyable opener.
Some interesting uses of percussion, and tongue-in-cheek moments can be found across the record, and some questionable moments too. The incessant quacking in “Green Tea” goes down less as funny and more as grating.
Giraffage seems to take some cues from french band Justice with the occasional slap bass pop and funky bass lines strewn across the album. “Maybe” uses samples of white noise in it’s intro, creating a feeling of clarity when it dissipates into nothing, leaving the rest of the instrumentation to build. The track is helped with the feature of the amazing Japanese Breakfast. This is the most atmospheric moment of the record, and has lush sonic textures.
This album still finds itself using a few cliches of electronica and re-using a lot of the same synth sounds. However there are some more ambitious pieces of music; “First Breath” adds elements of noise and rhythms that sound from a trap beat.
All in all the album works, and is fun. I personally can’t listen to the whole thing in one go as the repetition of same motifs come of stale, but dipping in and out of this album sheds a new light on it and there are some gems amongst the lesser songs.
Treat it like a compilation and less like a cohesive album and this album has a lot of mileage.
Camille Saint Seana
Image credits: Lessthan3