CANT, Dreams Come True
Grizzly Bear member puts heart in a mainly electronic, experimental album
The first thing you should know about Dreams Come True is that its title isn’t meant to convey some Disney-deliverable promise of hope and happy endings. It’s more like a threat, delivered in a menacing, Tom Waits-as-Voldemort wheeze, atop a grinding storm of electronics. In other words: Careful what you wish for. Love’s double-edged sword — more specifically, the edge that cuts your heart out — is the main concern of the debut album by CANT, the solo project of Grizzly Bear bassist/producer Chris Taylor.
Perhaps the second important piece of information about Dreams Come True is that it scarcely resembles the gauzy folkways of Grizzly Bear, even though Taylor is generally regarded as the experimental architect behind the Brooklyn band’s sound — its Brian Eno or Chris Walla, if you will. Instead, what Taylor and partner George Lewis Jr. (a.k.a. Dominican-born synthpop artist Twin Shadow) serve up is a mostly melodic and chilled-out electronic weeper whose emotion is crucial rather than cloying. Each 808 heartbreak (“Each time you said you loved me/ Each time you said you cared,” sings Taylor on “The Edge”) is keenly felt, whether in the form of a Kid A-and-after Radiohead piano plea (“Bericht”), a shapeshifting Animal Collective climax (“She Found A Way Out”) or the title track’s harsh, Varcharz-era Mouse On Mars deconstruction.
Sometimes it’s difficult to find the heart of a mainly electronic, sometimes experimental album. That isn’t the case here, as Taylor seems to take cues from the late composer Arthur Russell, whose underwater intimacy was ingrained in his work. In fact, maybe it’s the title of the Russell compilation album Taylor digitally restored in 2008 that best describes what the debut by CANT wants you to feel: Love Is Overtaking Me.