Ulysses

Ulysses

Ulysses

010

Eenie Meenie Records

There isn’t much in the music business that Robert Schneider hasn’t done. As the vocalist and guitarist of Apples in Stereo, he has garnered the reputation of an artist who creates short, brilliant and vibrant pop songs. As a businessman, he co-founded the Elephant 6 Recording Company and is thus partly responsible for bringing Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control and Of Montreal into our lives. He is also the mastermind behind his own solo endeavor, Marbles. Having done all of this, Schneider has now embarked upon an ambitious new project, Ulysses, a full-fledged band that sounds unlike anything he has ever done.

With 010, you can tell that Schneider has changed his entire methodology of creating songs. While much of the pop aesthetic of Apples In Stereo remains, Schneider shows a rougher, more complex side here. His lyrics are substantially darker and more personal. These revealing lyrics are then meshed with dense sonic atmospherics that lay somewhere between the epic soundscapes of Spacemen 3 and the indie sprawl of Pavement, Galaxie 500 and early Velvet Underground.

Make no mistake about it, this is the best breakup album of the year. Schneider bares his soul and lets us look inside his aching world. However, breaking up has never sounded richer or catchier than it does here.

The opener, “Push You Away,” is an indie pop number that wishes an ex the best of luck. The punk-y edges of “Glacier” and “Frustrated” showcase Schneider in a new light, as a man with a dark side looking for a way out. “The Falcon” (arguably the catchiest thing Schneider has recorded to date), the Malkmus-like “Burning You” and the zippy “Evening Star” stand out as infectious romps.

Almost everything about 010 (and Ulysses in general) is brave and daring. The album was recorded in one four hour session, with Ulysses recording these songs in one take, using only one stationary microphone set up in a Lexington, Kentucky garage. The astonishing result is an album featuring the continued coming of age of a terrific musician and songwriter. By opening himself up emotionally as well as lyrically, Robert Schneider has unearthed himself as a fascinating artist who continues to make some of the most impressive and inventive music.

Ulysses has made a debut recording that is a steady affair loaded with just the right dosage of introspective lyrics, percussive punch, droning guitars and layered noise that speaks to Apples In Stereo devotees, shoe gazers, indie kids and pop confectionists alike.

Eenie Meenie: www.eeniemeenie.com

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