Twink ~ Dust Bunny

Dust BunnyTwink‘s trademark bunny is not doing well.  In fact, le lapin et mort.  What happened to our cheery Boston friend?  To understand, one must return to the Boston Blizzard of 2015, which paralyzed the city and buried many bunnies.  The city’s largest snow pile, connected by tendrils of debris, lasted until summer.  This was enough to take a toll of even the cheeriest of musicians.  On Dust Bunny, the snowed-in toytronica artist Mike Langlie works through the white and eventually finds his way to a happy ending, imagining the creatures awakening, mating, and making new baby bunnies.

Kate O’Hara is to be credited for the intricate, disturbing artwork.  The limited edition LP is also appealing in a morbid manner, with its cream-colored vinyl offset by rabbit splatter.  This benefits Langlie’s work, breaking him from the mold of twee.  While toys and chimes and glockenspiels are light in nature, childhood can also be dark and full of fears.  These are brought to light on Dust Bunny.  

The slow pace of opener “Emberglow” is the first indicator.  We’ve become used to a frantic pace from the artist, perfect for an out-of control toddler on a sugar high.  But this is different, like switching Lucky Charms for Cheerios (although not Grape Nuts).  On “Thistle Bliss”, one has time to enjoy the clock and the glock.  While classic Twink songs begin to pop up in the middle (especially “Hem & Haw”), the majority remain restrained.  In this case, more melancholy means more maturity.  Dust Bunny is the sound of a child with nothing to do, who has to rely on his own devices, and does.

While Side B is more upbeat (“Mom! Dad! These toys are actually fun!”), Langlie resists any need for speed.  “Whirl Wisp” is a lovely lullaby, while “Sun Drizzle” has a hip-hop heart.  Finest of all is the drumless closer, “Fossil Blossom”, which sounds like a baby’s toybox opened for the first time.

Many perks are offered with the pre-order, including the pling plong cards used in recording (sold out), full downloads of the entire Twink discography, a lathe cut 7″ and more.  Making up for winter, New England experienced a warm, dry summer, and these happy offerings seem to indicate that the artist is back to normal as well.  We hope that he’ll continue to embrace his slower side, as it’s lent his music a new and engaging depth.  (Richard Allen)

Available here

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