James Pants is a multi-instrumentalist funk nerd and producer from Texas who specializes in creating tracks that creep up on people—raw, new-wavy snippets that turn into songs before anyone entirely realizes it. "We're Through," the first single from his debut, features an off-kilter cowbell riding a faded disco groove and supporting a minimal breakup lyric sung as if Pants is bored with everything except the music he's making. He clearly pays close attention to sonic details, and from the compressed, dubby cymbals of "My Girl" to the hissing, translucent synths of "Prayers Of The People" to the blaxploitation feel and springy keyboards of "Good Things" to the cheap electro vocal effects and unsteady drums of "I Choose You," he makes his many sonic guises come to odd, bouncy life. All of which helps make Welcome the kind of album that sounds more whole after it's been put away for a while, then returned to circulation just to see what sticks in the memory.

Advertisement