Privilege is an album that will confound music writers, many of whom I can imagine ransacking their collections in vain for comparisons. It is a bold and extravagant masterpiece of a pop album; a musical playground where guitars, quirky synths, expansive drums, dreamy backing vocals and daring, brash and beautiful lyrics are having a ball together with frontman Zac Pennington’s unmistakeable voice.
There are some stand-out moments on this album: opener, Evelyn McHale, the tragic tale of a 23-year-old suicide victim who leapt to her death from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building – as immortalised by Warhol’s Suicide (Fallen Body) – and Sympathy for Spastics “She’s thick as shit & pregnant with the myth/Of a noble proletariat”. But the whole piece is enthralling. You can’t pull your ears away for fear you’ll miss something. The twists and turns make it hard at first to know where you are being taken and new details reveal themselves with each listen.
Privilege is a collaboration between founding members, Zac Pennington and Jherek Bischoff. Bischoff has composed/collaborated with, among others, David Byrne and Xiu Xiu. Though comparisons may be hard to draw, fans of Byrne and Xiu Xiu wouldn’t be disappointed by Privilege. Fans of anything else should definitely hear this too.