Shortwave Society Delivers Stately and Eccentric Debut Album

Shortwave Society

Voyeur

Shortwave Society's first full album comes out of nowhere; there really aren't any local precedents for the group's quirky electro-folk chamber pop. That's not to say the band doesn't have predecessors—besides the deep influence of the Beatles' and Beach Boys' most studio-intensive and orchestral projects, Voyeur's mix of pop lyricism, skittering electronic rhythms, and symphonic grandeur owes significant debt to the Dismemberment Plan, the Elephant 6 collective, and, most recently and directly, the New York duo the Books. But no other Knoxville artists have ever recorded anything like Voyeur. It's stately and eccentric, with oddball hooks, string arrangements, and found sound nestled on top of light, rolling percussion and electronic beats. The scope is huge—two of the seven tracks are more than 10 minutes—but the group, led by guitarist/vocalist Grant Geren, pulls it off with seeming ease.