Australia’s Lost Animal is a conundrum. It’s a conundrum because I find it very difficult to describe. Preface: I’ve been enjoying the sounds of Ex Tropical since November. Far enough back that I attempted to put the album on my Top 50 LPs of 2012 list, despite noting its release date in my coverage of their superb video for “Say No To Thugs”.
Talking with a friend last night about the more interesting albums we’ve heard in 2013, I made mention of Ex Tropical. I thought about it for a bit, thinking about how to describe Lost Animal’s music, finally settling on the following: “It’s a bizarre mix of many indescribable things all happening at the same time.”
Upon further thought, I came up with the following: “Mysterious tropical (pseudo) hip hop cleverly composed by a very chill, nearing-middle-aged white guy.” That guy, Jarrod Quarrell, is probably far from being considered “middle aged.” In fact, he’s probably my age, nearing his mid-thirties rather than the 40 year mark.
Ex Tropical, as noted by label Hardly Art, “comes at you in layers: familiar, then mysterious; catchy, then saturated and atmospheric.” This is true. There’s a lot going on that keeps the entire thing interesting, fun and undeniably cool.
Quarrell drops lyrics you don’t focus on at first thanks to the previously mentioned layers – heavy synths, crazy beats, occasional guitar, and the unique way he relays his vocals to the audience. But after a dozen or so rounds through the album, you start delving into the lyrical genius element. On Ex Tropical there are several such elements.
Well done once again Hardly Art; seriously. And you too Lost Animal. I can honestly say that Ex Tropical is easily one of the most interesting, confusing, awkwardly cool albums I have ever heard. It puts me in a crazy ball of emotion: confusion, excitement, nervousness, self-satisfaction, fear, humor. It almost brings tears to my eyes.
Download: “Say No To Thugs” by Lost Animal
[audio:130129-lost-animal-say-no-to-thugs.mp3|titles=Say No To Thugs|artists=Lost Animal]
Download: “Lose The Baby” by Lost Animal
[audio:130129-lost-animal-lose-the-baby.mp3|titles=Lose The Baby|artists=Lost Animal]
Hardly Art [LP, 2013]
1. (Intro) Beat Goes On
2. Say No to Thugs
3. Buai Raskol
4. Don’t Litter
5. Cold Cut Nature
6. Ex Tropical
7. Lose the Baby
9. Old Lovers