Green Gerry has combined the intimate singer-songwriter approach that characterized his first shows in Athens in the late 2000s with the atmospheric swirl of loops, reverb and noise that dominated his debut, 2010's Odd Tymes. King Baby, his second record, features outstanding songwriting wreathed in lush production. The erstwhile Birdhouse Collection member may have flown the coop for California, but now, more than ever, he's worth paying attention to.
The record starts out on familiar ground. “King Baby: A Sacrifice of Sound for the Womb,” makes use of the cavernous reverb featured on Odd Tymes, but there's a strange, thrilling touch: a high-pitched voice hovering over the top of the harmonies, like a sped-up Kanye West sample intruding on a Fleet Foxes song. “La La Lonely Maria #1,” with its easy-going guitar line, sounds like Mutations-era Beck, another artist whose stylistic versatility was rooted in basic folk songwriting.
With its comic-epic synth strings and mawkish opening line—“What's the point of singing something/ You won't give a shit about?”—“Les Incompétents” is a chillwave “A Man Needs a Maid” that earns its weird grandeur. The plaintive, unadorned “Rosy (To Throw You Off)” brings the record to an end. Its melody is haunting—it doesn't need reverb to linger. 4 out of 5.