Photo courtesy of Clandestine Label Services

Christina Schneider’s Locate S,1 Issues Of Montreal-Aided Debut, ‘Healing Contest’ (album stream)

Locate S,1's Healing Contest is strange, mysterious, and maybe your new favorite experimental pop album of 2018.

Locate S,1 is the new experimental pop group from Christina Schneider and the debut album, Healing Contest, is due April 20. Schneider received some help from her friends in Of Montreal, including Clayton Rychlik, Zachary Colwell, and Jojo Glidewell while that band’s vocalist, Kevin Barnes, engineered and mixed the LP. Barnes is also releasing it on his new label, Sybaritic Peer (digitally), on 20 April. (CD and vinyl editions will crop up 18 May on Nicey.)

Despite all that help from the Of Montreal camp, Locate S,1 retains its own character, with layers of guitars, dreamlike vocals and images that drip and drop doses of the futurist and the psychedelic. One thing is unmistakable throughout: Schneider sounds great, whether the hushed secrets of “Manrico’s Abyss”, the world/otherworld/space pop of “From the Nun” or atop the all-out panic and joy heard in the grooves of “The Count of Monte Critico”. Nothing’s ever just a straightforward pop or acid pop or indie pop track, nor is any of it out-and-out, full-blown avant-garde. Instead, it’s a mix of all those things, under the umbrella of a gifted songwriter and singer who makes it impossible to stop listening.

Even fans of classic progressive rock can dig into “Free Luck”, with its Yes-style guitars and rhythms. The track clocks in at under three minutes, though, making its case swiftly and with certainty, something that can be said for each of the 10 numbers here. And if “1800 Capital C” doesn’t become one of your must-hear slices of weirdness for 2018, you’re doing it wrong.

Locate S,1 will support Of Montreal on a series of upcoming dates. Joining Schneider in her live band will be Nick Baker, Sam Lisabeth (Guerilla Toss) and Ben Murphy.