Rubblebucket: Survival Sounds
With its horn blasts, handclaps, echoing synths and powerful beats, and Kalmia Traver’s unique and breezy vocals, Survival Sounds is re-energizing throughout. This is an album of triumph, joy, rising above—and surviving. After Traver was diagnosed with cancer last summer, Rubblebucket banded together to make this fittingly titled and much-anticipated art-rock record on Communion. John Congleton (St. Vincent, Modest Mouse, David Byrne) produced the LP and the group recorded it at Mission Sound Recording in Brooklyn, N.Y. These 14 hard-hitting, playful and uplifting tracks show a great deal of creativity and scope—the sounds are visceral and ethereal at the same time (“Sound Of Erasing,” “Young And Old”). It’s dance-floor ready (“Rewind”) and suited for just bopping around town in the sunshine, too (“Shake Me Around”)—and after listening to Survival Sounds, you’ll likely find it hard to sit still or to wipe the smile off your face. It’s hook-laden, bass-heavy, synth-driven, reggae-tinged and poppy in all the right places—an anthemic summer workout full of build-ups and breakdowns.