Tracy Bryant has officially joined the ranks of likeminded -pop auteurs Mikal Cronin and Devon Williams." /> TRACY BRYANT: A PLACE FOR NOTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE | L.A. RECORD

TRACY BRYANT: A PLACE FOR NOTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE

October 15th, 2017 | Album reviews

TRACY BRYANT
A Place for Nothing And Everything In Its Place
Burger

With his new record, A Place For Nothing And Everything In Its Place, singer-songwriter Tracy Bryant has officially joined the ranks of likeminded -pop auteurs Mikal Cronin and Devon Williams. Bryant’s self-titled 2014 solo debut felt almost stubbornly lo-fi; its gorgeous pop morsels were submerged in a haze of hiss and miscellaneous tape-wear, like AM Gold transmitted from the lost city of Atlantis. Bryant’s 2016 follow-up, Subterranean—which included more realized renditions of songs off the first record—saw the ex-Corners singer reluctantly pushing his melodies closer to the spotlight. A Place For Nothing … melds the wistful immediacy of Bryant’s first record with the less asphyxiated—though still slightly off-kilter—production on his second. This is clearly a self-conscious evolution, as evidenced by the fake-out intro to album opener “The Grave”: the audible “click” of a play button on a tape recorder, followed by thirty seconds of fuzzy warble. The button clicks again, and the song erupts into a wash of jangling guitars, with Bryant’s high-register voice front and center. 4-track fundamentalists might balk at this direction merely on principle, but it provides Bryant’s indelible vocal melodies with the breathing room they have long demanded. “Forever Certain”—which revolves around a deceptively simple chord progression—is Bryant’s most explicitly catchy song to date, while the ornate, Ray Davies-filtered-through-Flying Nun romp “Unlonely” sees a burgeoning pop maestro flexing his artistic muscles. Hi(ish)-fi guitar pop seldom sounds this good.

—Morgan Troper

TRACY BRYANT’S A PLACE FOR NOTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE IS OUT FRI. OCT. 20 ON BURGER.