Embarking upon a sophomore effort can be a daunting task for any young upstart, and there's no denying Avi Buffalo's own bar was set quite high with 2010's celebrated eponymous debut. Fear not, there's nothing in this tale about The Second Album-a.k.a. At Best Cuckold, due September 8th in Europe and September 9th in North America on Sub
Pop-that even remotely resembles a slump; in fact, it would be entirely appropriate to say that this Long Beach, California, enterprise is getting better with age.
Ah, yes, age-much was made of it when Avi Buffalo's first album hit, and for good reason: While their Millikan High School classmates were preoccupied with quaint and youthful pursuits, the musicians behind Avi Buffalo were busy making an off-kilter pop gem that eventually bowled over NME, The AV Club, Pitchfork, the BBC, and numerous other outlets on both sides of the Atlantic.
The creation of At Best Cuckold turned out to be a three-year journey; a stretch of time that resembles its predecessor. While transitioning from teenager to twentysomething and traversing the interpersonal wilds which accompany that age, Avi kept playing music, collaborated with and produced several friends (including Kevin Litrow's N.O.W. project and
Douglas James Sweeney's Arjuna Genome), and even started DJing. He also wrote new songs, and by the time 2013 rolled around, it was time to begin capturing his latest sparks-with that, the band headed into the studio on New Year's Day.
At Best Cuckold was recorded at Tiny Telephone, the analog-friendly San Francisco studio run by John Vanderslice (whose Bowie tribute Avi contributed to), and engineered by Jay Pellicci (The Dodos, Deerhoof, Sleater-Kinney). Avi then built on the "clean and tight" recordings from Tiny Telephone with analog and digital overdubs, and completed the
record with Nicolas Vernhes at Rare Book Room studio in Brooklyn. The result is a quirky yet comforting set of songs driven by refined pop songcraft and sneaky moments of grandeur that stick in the brain. Classic-sounding melodies are delivered with a modern sensibility, creating an album that's equal parts timely and timeless. Well-placed piano, sax, clarinet, French horn, and cornet further enhance the proceedings with a glorious orch-pop sheen.
At the ripe old age of 23, Avi Buffalo is ready to take on the world (again), armed with all of the experience he's compiled over the past few years. And he's made sure the second time around will be just as memorable as the first.
1. So What
2. Memories of You
3. Can't Be Too Responsible
4. Two Cherished Understandings
5. Overwhelmed with Pride
6. Found Blind
7. She Is Seventeen
8. Think It's Gonna Happen Again
9. Oxygen Tank
10. Won't Be Around No More