Most of what you read surrounding the release of this disarmingly accomplished debut record from Disq will make reference to their tender years, but in this case, the fact that the Madison, WI five-piece are barely out of their teens feels like less of an easy talking point and more of an integral part of the record’s story. ‘Collector’ is a chronicle of teenage life in middle America so sharply observed that you could cut yourself on it, opening with a simmering kick out against day-to-day monotony (‘Daily Routine’) and finding poetry in the pedestrian throughout. There’s the charming ‘D19’ - a woozily melodic love song about a microphone that might be the best paean to an inanimate object since ‘Ode to Viceroy’ - and then there’s moody near-shoegaze on ‘Gentle’ and the doomy ‘I Wanna Die’.
With lyrics that simmer with self-awareness serving as the record’s backbone, the obvious points of comparison are Parquet Courts and Car Seat Headrest, but the idiosyncrasies that really make ‘Collector’ tick feel as if they’re all Disq’s own, from the subtle subversions of pop and rock tropes to the wry-beyond-their-years witticisms at every turn. DeBroux Stone and Raina Bock, childhood friends who form the group’s creative core, have talked about the album as a celebration of flyover America and it genuinely feels as if, removed from the back-biting and competitiveness of the coastal cities, something special has been allowed to flourish organically in Madison.
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