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Airplanes Can't, but Saharan Gazelle Boy's latest release can

Synth pop music is hard to find in Kansas City, which is why Saharan Gazelle Boy sticks out in the crowd. Saharan Gazelle Boy is the solo side project of Capybara’s Darin Seal.

Seal’s latest release, Airplanes Can’t, provides the dreamy, 80s-inspired pop music that is so hard to find ‘round these parts. It’s out of place and awkward, but at the same time hip and refreshing.

“Cupid Song” might as well been recorded by New Order. It is an addictive track that feels like it was actually recorded in 1980, not 2010.

“Something I Wanna Know About You” is the album’s strongest song, and for some strange reason feels like it should have been on the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack.

“Cable TV” begins with a simple, ringing, guitar riff, but ends with a building synth horns arrangement.

Seal’s instrumental tracks are just as strong as the vocal tracks. “Medicine Dreams” has vocals, but they might as well not be there. It’s really a simple new age song, but it really adds drama to the record.

Though the recordings are naturally minimalist, Seal does a good job of preventing each track from becoming too repetitive, mostly by just creating decent melodies and hypnotic, reverberated, and experimental sounds. Without such experimentation, many of the songs might lose their luster.

Despite this, Airplanes Can’t is a strong album from a versatile local musician. It is also currently available for only $2 from the wonderful local record label The Record Machine. Download it now!

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