Pedro the Lion has gone minimal on this first outing from the Seattle-based side-project of Pedroâ€™s David Bazan and Tim Walsh. Headphonesâ€™ self-titled debut holds with a staunch anti-guitar policy: There is only synthesizer and drums on Headphones. This gives the album a spare, almost hollow sound, and when coupled with heartrending lyrics it achieves simple yet haunting effects.
Headphones sounds a bit like a videogame depicting an epic human struggle. It’s not surprising that lead singer Bazan says he was influenced by the Flaming Lips; Headphones has the same eerie feel as Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, although Headphones is more rooted in reality than the Lips tend to be.
The most touching song off Headphones is the last track, “Slow Car Crash.” Bazan spends the first verses minutely describing said car crash until it becomes painfully clear that the wreck he’s discussing has nothing to do with Chevys. “We knew it was over and both looked away,” Bazan sings in his soft, searching voice, “Right at each other/ With spare time to say/ Babe, I love you.”
Though there are three members in the Headphones (Pedro’s Bazan and Walsh with Frank Lenz of Starflyer 59), only Bazan and Walsh will be touring this spring. For more info on the tour, click here