April Album Reviews
Syna So Pro
Loop Talk Vol. 1: The Power of One; the Power of You
Following the implosion of shoegaze legends Stella Mora, bassist and vocalist Syrhea Conaway was free to create something truly unheard of. Her idea was to make an entire band out of one person—after all, there’s no way you can have an inter-band struggle if it’s just one person, right? So came Syna So Pro (originally a shorthand for Syna’s So Professional, and not, as some thought, Syna’s Solo Project) and with it, the wild live shows. If you’ve never been, it’s a sight to behold: Conaway builds songs piece by piece using looping pedals and vocal effects, swirling and combining the elements of the song until all at once it’s a giant explosion of sound happening right in front of you and even though you were there to witness the whole thing it becomes hard to believe the sound you’re hearing is issuing from that one solitary woman standing in front of you, blasting you out of your own head with song.
Syna So Pro’s first album, 2009’s Make Two People Happy, tried to capture that lightning in a bottle and succeeded. On Loop Talk Vol. 1, however, matching a propulsive live experience isn’t the goal. On this platter of delightful sounds, all of which require headphones to really “get,” you are instead provided access to that feeling of giddy creativity and endless possibility that fuels Conaway herself.
“Numbers” takes its time before counting itself into oblivion, washing up and around the ears and straight overhead. The heartbreaking vocals of “Answer Me Straight” almost override the massive Arcade Fire-esque buildup, while elsewhere, in the intriguing a capella workout of “Fengyang Song,” even the lyrics are abstracted into Chinese so that they became strange blossoming shapes of pure sound. On every track, it’s there: that headlong rush towards madness, each song a wave waiting to take you away, anchored to reality only by the brisk propulsive drumming of Lucky Old Sons’ Corey Woodruff.
Even with its endless layers, Loop Talk is a too-short experience, clocking in at under 32 minutes. By album’s end it makes one wish desperately for the speedy arrival of the second volume. Jason Robinson