Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., Nov. 28, 2014
Primitives commences with droning organ tones soaring over splashes, chirps, and warped vocals before hitting on a pulse of guitar scrapes that unfold into an angel harmony of triple-tracked cooing. It's an art composition revealing itself as a pop song, and thus a mission statement for Roger Sellers, who scuffs the lines between indie folk, dance music, and alt-classical more than ever on his fourth full-length. "Appeals" follows by appropriating a mutated ringtone to underscore the Texas State grad's agile verse: "I couldn't imagine how it made you feel/ Nothing is real if nothing appeals/ And I couldn't stop with that look in your eyes." That becomes a loop amongst cycloning keyboard and drumline snare, evidencing the composer's methods: Everything's a sample. The eight-song effort peaks on echo-pop triumph "Waves," a tranquil piano throb met with a singular melody making space for the Austinite's vox, recalling Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell. Toward the back end, the epic "Lates" germinates from spacey to sublime over six minutes with an advancing tattoo of syncopated toms. Primitive's a portable version of Sellers' popular one-man show. You wouldn't mistake it for a band, but you might confuse it with a flying dream.