For many of us the mundane and dull nature of life is something to escape and transcend, but for Atlanta, Georgia-based musician Malcolm Hirsch, it is a world to explore and revel in. This aspect becomes more apparent than ever on his latest release under the name Govier, titled Predator. On the surface Predator feels familiar, offering us warm lo-fi folk with whirring synths and open lyrics delivered in a careless fashion. This slacker-folk style is something Govier feels quite comfortable in, and yet this does not stop Predator from having its own surprises both structurally and lyrically. Take “Orange Juice” for example, a song which pairs slice-of-life lyrics with bouncy synths, and yet offers instead of a chorus a sudden right turn into a mini acoustic drone before returning to the verse. The dreaminess of “Have This Dance” and electronic arpeggios of “Box Petals” also come as welcome surprises, and Predator has more than enough of these moments to keep listeners hooked during its short length of 22 minutes.
The lyrics stand as the real standout element of the album, and in a way Predator feels like a balancing act of sorts. Govier wants us to take the mundane and everyday seriously, all while delivering these ideas to us in an often humorous and self-aware way. “Like a Soccer Player” is a fun song about a pet dog, while “Life is Flashing Before Your Eyes” is a song about time moving too fast to appreciate it. The juxtaposition of these themes, some playful and some saddening, is the core of the album, and the charming balance between the good and bad of everyday is where Predator shines the most. On “Leaves” Govier states “it’s not easy having to spend each day the color of the leaves when it’s easier being red sprawled out on the bed.” Here we see a reference to Sesame Street’s “Bein Green” quickly taking a darker tone, and a perfect example of how Govier can balance tones in order to create striking content. Passionate enough to curse in his songs, but never serious enough to shout, Govier’s work is definitely something to appreciate.
Cereal Pairing: Frosted Cheerios