Storefront Church - As We Pass
Storefront Church is the project of Lukas Frank, who's drummed in Phoebe Bridgers' band and appeared on her albums, and the first song of his debut album As We Pass features DIIV frontman Cole Smith, but neither of those affiliations really prepares you for what to expect from As We Pass. It's a 9-song collection that's largely made up of bluesy, gothy, emo-y melancholic songs that sometimes sound like a cross between '90s Cure deep cuts and Nirvana Unplugged. (Lukas also cites Scott Walker as an influence, and you can hear that too.) Most of the album is bare-bones and somber, but Lukas also revs things up for the noise punk of "Faction from Under the Grove," and that fits right in too. With As We Pass, Lukas enters a long, line of depressive singer/songwriters, but even with over half a century of music like this, something about Lukas stands out. He grips you right off the bat with album opener "After the Alphabets" -- the kind of song that can make you drop everything and listen as soon as his voice comes in -- and the album stays that compelling throughout. Even with connections to established artists and the great Sargent House label behind him, this doesn't feel like the smash arrival of a hot new buzz artist; it's the subtle arrival of a songwriter whose songs creep up on you and knock you out when you're least expecting it. Usually, that's even better.