Fresh Stream



Another season, another twenty-two song release of Zach Phillips’ outsider pop (he’s getting close to R. Stevie Moore levels of prolificacy here). Just like the Memphis home-recording lifer, Phillips has proven himself to be a true cassette label chameleon on his latest collection of songs NEW CARTOONS. Gone is the metaphysical identity politics of Recorded in Hell or the swarming radio detritus deconstructions of Recorded in Heaven. What we have instead is a set of more straightforward, handcrafted pop songs, complete with barbershop quartet harmonies and deft free associating lines to match. The title gives us an inkling that perhaps this release was written with the intent of fusing with Gnar Tapes’ stoned pop sensibility. In moments, however, the tide of his thoughts turns turbulent, notably on half, he tosses off some moving protests, “I wanted love, I got half, I wanted hate, I got half!” If this is a portrait of Phillips brain amidst a wake-and-bake cartoon sesh, it’s only breezy on its outer surface. Underneath it’s a heady arc of musings, as we’ve come to expect from this pop avant-gardsman. Grip the tape from Portland, OR’s Gnar Records here.


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