Sneaks, the solo project of Washington D.C.-based artist Eva Moolchan, possess a unique charm evident all over her second album It’s A Myth. Armed with a drum machine, a bass guitar and deadpan vocals, Sneaks epitomises something bigger than the sum of its parts. Recorded by Jonah Takagi and Ex Hex/Helium frontwoman Mary Timony, It’s A Myth serves as a more layered, natural evolution from her debut album Gymnastics released two years ago on Sister Polygon Records. It’s still unashamedly minimal and bare, accompanied by lyrics that wonderfully bring to life seemingly mundane situations.
‘Inside Edition’ and ‘Looks Like That’ introduce the record with flawless no-nonsense rhythms and her seemingly stream-of-consciousness vocal delivery. The first proper dance number ‘Hair Slick Back’ superbly combines a snaking bassline and catchy one-liners (“let me see you bend your brakes”). It’s the subtle confrontation on songs like this that show how Moolchan’s lyrics could be put in numerous other styles of music and still make sense.
Other tracks see tributes to topics as diverse as Devo (‘Devo’) and peanut butter and jelly (‘PBNJ‘) which paint dream-like surreal musical landscapes and delve into simple pleasures (“we all want a little bit of / divine, divine Devo“). Album highlight ‘Act Out’ will leave you wishing it was at least twice as long as it gives the record a more tense feel with musings on our digital world (“want you to take me somewhere / but I’m staring at a screen“). ‘With a Cherry on Top’ perfectly balances the wondrous and the downright weird as Moolchan playfully sings “me ‘n’ me ‘n’ me ‘n’ me ‘n’ you / you ‘n’ you ‘n’ you ‘n’ you ‘n’ me / I’ve locked myself in your bedroom” over a staccato keyboard part.
End song ‘Future‘ doesn’t leave much of a feeling of closure but I imagine that’s the last of Sneaks’ priorities on It’s A Myth. With ten songs amounting to less than 20 minutes, Sneaks’ conciseness and unabashed minimalism are a breath of fresh air in this claustrophobically noisy world. Her lyrics are a key part of her infectious charm, being simultaneously both direct and familiar but absurd and distant. One can only hope that Sneaks’ future releases become even meatier and more magical.