Tickley Feather's eponymous debut is a decisively mixed bag of crazed Casio noodling, but then again, upsetting expectations is exactly what sophomore albums are for.
Annie Sachs is a bit of an oddball: a single mother with a four-track and a sense of abstract musicality that would automatically make her a 100% match with Ariel Pink on OKCupid. Yet where Ariel Pink is laser-focused on making his songs sound like long-lost Nuggets, Sachs -- here under her Tickley Feather moniker -- seems to be a bit lost in her synth-happy oddball creations. Some tracks are nothing more than one-off blips of random keyboard improvisations ("Noisey Dingle") and looped voice crescendos (the aptly-titled "Ooooo"), all while mingling with sound samples of her son speaking in Dreamsongs and songs that are barely held together by any sense of melody (the grating "Convention", for example). Those few times when Tickley's magic works, however, are solid lo-fi compositions: the fantastic "Night Chant" sounds like the demo for a bigger, poppier indie-dance track, "Keyboards is Drunk" is Regina Spektor without a budget, and "Le Daylight" is the theme song to a Public Access TV show that exists only in our collective minds. Tickley Feather's eponymous debut is a decisively mixed bag of crazed Casio noodling, but then again, upsetting expectations is exactly what sophomore albums are for.