Danny Seim is the tall drummer for Portland, Ore., indie/alt darlings Menomena, a band whose music is as complex, whimsical and bright as its members. Though Menomena may be more widely known, the band came about as an offshoot of Seim's solo act, Lackthereof, in part because Seim feels less self-conscious behind the skins than in front of them.
Your Anchor is his ninth full-length album; Seim's been writing and performing under the name Lackthereof since the late '90s. As Lackthereof's first release on Barsuk, Your Anchor may find a wider audience. Those new fans will find little sonic hints of Menomena's bombastic, multi-instrumental sound, but on Your Anchor, Lackthereof sounds like a well-constructed, deconstructed cousin.
Seim performed every instrument on the album—pounding out every bass drum beat, strumming every guitar lick, singing every note—and it's a complex piece of work that keeps a listener guessing even after several spins. Seim's often breathy voice punctuates lyrics that are at times visceral and at times beautifully visual. In "Chest Pass," he repeats "The new year is the old year again," before mumbling through "First things first / it's off my chest / you're a slob and I'm a mess," chewing the words so that they're nearly unintelligible. Seim sing-speaks "Swim out to me my darling / love will be our anchor. / Naturally we're drowning. / Naturally we're drowning, drowning, drowning," the last word dropping off as though he's run out of air. The track is such a bewitching, melancholy piece of work, you'll want to throw him a life preserver.