[4 August 2011]
A classically trained pianist who first tickled the ivories at the tender age of 7, 23-year-old James Friley split his teenage years between practicing with his garage band, Bedtime, and composing material for solo piano. But it wasn’t until he picked up a cassette copy of Pet Sounds at a local flea market in 2008 that Friley heeded his true calling as an indie pop auteur par excellence, rebranding himself under the handle of Idiot Glee. On his debut LP, Paddywhack, this one-boy act brings together two incredibly disparate styles—nightclub piano crooning and loop-based sampledelica—to create a collection of tunes that sounds like nothing else in modern pop (no, really). That is, of course, unless Tony Bennett decides to celebrate his 90th birthday by collaborating with Atlas Sound.