Banging My Head
By Chris Homer
The musical project of Columbia,
Lee, The Cranes Are Flying presents a unique take on electronica with its
second EP Banging My Head. While it
sounds contradictory, the best way to define Lee’s style is one of
folk-electronica. He often injects his blasting synth sounds with folk elements,
creating an interesting hybrid of genres.
The EP’s opening track “Fishhooks” best represents The
Cranes Are Flying’s off-the-wall sound. Lee’s delicate vocals on the track
bring to mind Simon and Garfunkel. He backs his able singing with a series of
rapid drum beats and swirling, ringing electro-pop noises. At first, the song
may be hard to digest as it blitzes you with many different, conflicting parts.
Upon another listen, the elements pull together nicely to create a track
guaranteed to be different from anything you’ve heard before in electronica.
Banging My Head also
ends strongly with “Mista James.” The track makes powerful use of a haunting
acoustic guitar mixed with slowed down synth riffs. Fans of Radiohead and Thom
Yorke’s solo work will find a lot to like about “Mista James,” as the brooding
electronic bits of the song share similarities with both acts. However, Lee
isn’t ripping off this sound; he simply uses it successfully as another layer
to add to his own style.
At other points on the EP, The Cranes Are Flying begins to
sound more like a standard electronica project. On the title-track “Banging My
Head”, Lee gives his best Animal Collective impression. If you’re a fan of that
group, Lee’s use of battling synthesizers and the heavy conga drum background
will please you.
Banging My Head takes
a brief stumble on “Mindjob,” where the busy electronic beats become a bit too
much when combined with the Prince-like vocals. There’s simply too much going
on with the track to make it an inviting listen.
Overall, Banging My
Head is a promising EP that does exciting things with the electronica
genre. The Cranes Are Flying still has room to grow, so it should be a project
worth keeping your eye on.