Famous Blondes

Adam Payne is a busy man. In the past decade-plus, he’s managed more than a dozen releases as the frontman of Residual Echoes. Payne’s also squeezed in working with the likes of Cass McCombs, King Tuff and Six Organs of Admittance, to name a few. Amid all his sonic multitasking, he’s found time to create a new solo record, Famous Blondes. The record manages to be simultaneously straightforward and allusive. Its surface structure can feel crude: simple beats, distinct clunky electric layers, and Payne falling somewhere between singing and chanting—all coming together like it could be blaring out of a blown-out boombox speaker. But coiled within that very structure are miles of altered voices, faint electric blips hitting bottomless floors and odd storylines. What that boils down to is its own brand of pop. Not the shiny, easy kind crutched on mimicry, but rather the catchy, unique one—the one that stands on its own.