Albums, Music, The Revue — June 10, 2015 at 7:30 am

Prinzhorn Dance School – “Home Economics”

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Prinzhorn Dance SchoolThe xx may get all the buzz as the group that made minimalist, avant-garde pop music popular, but roughly around the same time Prinzhorn Dance School was formed. Granted, unlike The xx who created hypnotic, haunting, electronic bass-driven music, Prinzhorn Dance School leaned more towards experimental pop akin to bands like Dirty Projectors and Deerhoof.

However, on their third album, Home Economics, the Brighton-based has dubbed down the experimentation to create a more accessible sound. While the music may appeal to a broader audience, the quirkiness of the duo remains. For instance, “Battlefield” is a bass-driven, lo-fi tune with an industrial foundation. However, the playful interchange between Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn remains, especially when they utter “Free as a bird / The bloody mouths of wolves / I said look at me predator / Look at me predator! / Our lives are entwined”. There is even a moment before the second verse where Prinz seems to catch himself from giggling. “Haggle” is a breeze of a song – less than 3 minutes – with minimal words other than at the beginning to describe a pilot in flight. It’s a little bizarre but interesting since Prinzhorn Dance School leaves it to the listener to determine the outcome of the trip.

The opening track, “Reign”, is the album’s highlight. It’s a dark, deep thumper that combines the throbbing embrace of Joy Division (if the Manchester band went lo-fi) and the haunting approach of The xx. Similarly brilliant is “Let Me Go”. The most “straightforward” song on the album, it’s also the most introspective. Lyrically and musically it could be a single in a Spike Jonze film about an individual fighting to overcome loneliness yet seeks independence, and the melancholic sound adds to the sense of bewilderment.

“Let Me Go” is also a fitting ending to the record. It is like a wave goodbye to the duo’s former sound and approach and the welcoming of a new one. In addition, it’s a song that feels like Prinz and Horn are taking a deep examination of their own careers, where it has taken them and what it is to come. Although we cannot predict the future, it’s safe to say that Prinz and Horn will always maintain a quirkiness while their music will continue to challenge and even awe us.

Home Economics is out on DFA Records. Get Prinzhorn Dance School’s quirky, fun, lo-fi album at the label’s store, iTunes, and Amazon.

Website – www.prinzhorn-dance-school.com
Facebook – Prinzhorn Dance School
Twitter – @thehornthehorn

 

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