Oval: Ringtones (Thrill Jockey)
Oval has been suddenly busy after nearly a decade of silence. This EP surfaced as a free download from Thrill Jockey in between the stunning Oh release a few months ago. It is strangely catchy despite being so brief and stripped down. Nearly all of its tracks focus on the bright vaguely plucked sounds that characterized Oh without the percussion backdrop. Ringtones is a fitting name as these are all cyclical and to the point, something that could easily work on a phone but with a sound that is just slightly left of center enough to be somewhat disorienting. I suspect that by the time he releases his upcoming O double-album on Thrill Jockey this fall, this bright, plucky, more musical sound will become his hallmark, his CD-skip for 2010. It’s an odd set of vignettes but strangely compelling.