Ape School's Michael Johnson has a solid indie rock résumé. He was part of the SubPop group Holopaw, played with the Lilys, Kurt Vile, and Human Television, and along the way hooked up with Daedelus, appearing on the stand-out track "Make it So" on his 2008 album Love to Make Music To. This is Johnson's second mostly solo album; it was barely noticed, and his first under the name Ape School. Johnson wraps his catchy songs in a hazy, insulated sound that references neo-psych heroes Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips, ropes in elements of hip-hop (in the rhythms), shoegaze (the drifting textures are reminiscent at times of the Lilys best work), and oddly enough, a shoestring budget version of stadium dreamers like Coldplay or Keane. The lyrics and vocals don't reach for the back row of the arena,
but the epic sweep and cinematic...
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