In Standard Definition is the new album from Art d’Ecco, their first since Trespasser in 2018. A concept album about entertainment and the way in which it affects our day-to-day lives, In Standard Definition considers each of the entertainment worlds, or obsessions with celebrity and how it affects our day-to-day.
Adding substance to immaculate style, Art d’Ecco’s latest creation, In Standard Definition, commands attention with every turn. Like channel surfing an old television set, watching grainy black and white movies or flickering slideshows starring a cross section of humanity, each all-analogue vignette holds up a mirror to pop culture and explores the curiosity of entertainment.
Canadian, androgynous, neo-glam Art d’Ecco releases his new album on April 23rd via Paper Bag Records. Packed with ‘70s glam, new-wave, new-romantic electronic art-rock sounds, this LP is a struggle to listen to without wanting to turn your own home into a dancefloor, and well with tracks such as I Am The Dance Floor this might be the intention.
Joining forces with producer/engineer Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, New Pornographers, Destroyer) in ocean-side studio The Hive, In Standard Definition sees d’Ecco packing his heftiest punch yet. Through Stewart’s vintage set up, there is oft a 1970s production vibe to this album with artists such as T Rex or David Bowie influencing this LP. The textural intention is clear and not only that, effective. We may feel pulled backwards chronologically in music, but it fits with the concept.
Earning his producer stripes with this LP, d’Ecco played musical ringleader, building the tracks’ layers with a revolving door of hand-picked musicians: jazz and blues players on horns, Victoria Symphony Orchestra’s string players, soul singers, and his suited and booted live band. And with this album in it’s entirety latching onto you after one listen it would appear that d’Ecco has done a fine job too, as these tracks seep into your memory and stick.
Uplifting opener Desires salutes the aging, out of touch performers whereas I Am The Dancefloor incinerates with Nile Rogers and Chic burn; a stand out track on the album, for a minute it’s easy to forget that this album’s just out and that it’s not the influence for many other existing electro-pop bands. Head Rush has a groove and vocals that throw me back to Marc Bolan and T-Rex, but then you listen to the lyrics. Good Looks highlights the artificial world of online dating between crystalline Vangelis and Jean-Michel Jarre style 80s synths.
Ready to air its prime-time position, In Standard Definition is premiered by an artist evolving with every season. This is a brilliantly novel yet conceptual album that seeps into your head, and, well less gradually, gets your feet moving. With this album feel free to binge or just watch in part, but either way it’s gonna be impossible to stay static whilst you do.
In Standard Definition is out on 23rd April, via Paperbag Records