This is the debut album from a German musician who used to record sparse acoustic indie-folk as Sunday Parlours. S ND Y P RL RS couldn’t be more different; it’s still a solo project, but it’s as amplified and distorted as possible. Very charged electric guitar drone, but with much direction and focus. 3 of the 7 songs on here are instrumental, and they’re fantastic, but what really pushes this into the outer orbits are the songs with vocals. Even though the lyrics are completely indecipherable, the songs with vocals just speak to me a lot more. The way they’re incorporated into the music is sort of similar to Grouper, except this is much darker. Instead of having a sad yet blissful sound that you just want to crawl inside and fall asleep in, this is closer to being trapped in a pit of despair. It’s overwhelming, it’s lonely, it’s soulcrushing. But in spite of all that, it’s astoundingly beautiful. Definitely recalls a lot of the best ’90s loner shoegaze/space-rock, but even more lonely (as it’s just one person), and even more blown out and droney. And in some odd way, some of the vocals have a bit of a “Purple Rain” (the song) feel to it. Maybe it’s just the echo effects, but I hear something there, even if it’s not as over-the-top as Prince. Anyway, seriously brilliant album, almost certainly my favorite debut album of the year.