‘Gene’ is named after an analog drum machine that LA Priest’s Sam Eastgate fashioned himself, providing a chunky backdrop for gloopy synth textures and finger-picked guitars. On ‘Open My Eyes’, for example, rolling psych-pop basslines and his warbling vocal take the listener on a technicolour journey, before the stuttering ‘Sudden Thing’ alludes to the minimalism of Arthur Russell. The synth chaos of ‘Monochrome’, meanwhile, recalls Radiohead at their most malevolent. It’s an amorphous record that floats effortlessly from track to track, with delicate grooves and dreamy production. But ‘Gene’ isn’t without its blemishes. Following danceable struts like ‘Rubber Sky’ and rainbow pop nuggets like ‘What Moves’ is a second half that meanders a little too much. But as a full musical journey, this is an album that feels rich, rewarding and proudly of its own world.
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