In the classic fashion of the elite acts on Brooklyn’s Captured Tracks imprint, German pop savant Oliver Scharf likes to pack million dollar melodies into a milk money budget. On Year of Panic, Scharf’s buoyant debut album under the moniker of Hanoi Janes, he conjures up the kind of harmonies commonplace at Phil Spector’s Gold Star Studios. However, these big pop gems enjoy the frugality of being taped onto an eight-track recorder, and that gives this collection of songs the same kind of experimental crackle you might find on an Animal Collective disc, which creates a kind of cool sonic dichotomy.
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