A loose concept album centred around the characters of the fictional town of Wallsocket, Michigan, you’d be forgiven for for not immediately clocking the theme entangled amid the approximately 10,000 separate sonic ideas contained within underscores’ second LP. Primarily, however, San Francisco-born April Harper Grey uses the residents of this unassuming neighbourhood as a framework to hang her wildly eclectic and at-odds forays upon; thus, the Speedy Ortiz-like guitar fizz of opener ‘Cops and robbers’ and the bratty, Sleigh-Bells-gone-hyperpop blitzkrieg of ‘Locals (girls like us)’ can sit side by side, in some strange postcode harmony. A huge step forward from the bedroom production of 2021’s ‘fishmonger’, ‘Wallsocket’ still wears its one-woman-band laptop beginnings with pride, yet there are continuous flashes of genius here, from the woozy Beck lollop of ‘Shoot to kill, kill your darlings’ to ‘Johnny johnny johnny’, which takes the playground chant and turns it into a blistering dance-punk kiss-off. Admittedly, sometimes the about turns are so stark, it’s to the detriment of the record’s softer moments (‘Horror movie soundtrack’) which come out of nowhere. But for the most part, ‘Wallsocket’ is the sound of an artist operating entirely, brilliantly on their own terms.