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Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Lost Animal, ‘Ex Tropical’

Lost Animal is the project of Australian musician Jarrod Quarrell, whose hypnotic songs sound utterly suspended in time and free of genre.

“Ex Tropical,” Lost Animal’s debut record, which Hardly Art has just put out worldwide after its 2011 release, skips around the edges of trip-hop, doo-wop, lounge, and, most intriguingly, calypso.

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The opening “(Intro) Beat Goes On” slinks out of the speakers with a string of nasty come-ons we can’t print here, but it’s unabashedly sexy. It sets the tone for an album that’s a strange mix of electronic pop and global influences reimagined on Quarrell’s keyboards; it feels both sleazy and sincere. Even when the melodies go soft and sweet, Quarrell spits his lines with a sneer you’d expect from Television’s Tom Verlaine.

On “Old Lovers,” as angelic female harmonies swirl overhead and bring to mind Leonard Cohen’s “Death of a Ladies’ Man,” Quarrell muses, “Old lovers don’t die / They just find somebody new to love.” (Out now)

ESSENTIAL “(Intro) Beat Goes On”

James Reed can be reached at
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