Closed Circuits, 2016

It's would be hyperbole to compare Breaker by Closed Circuits to Scott Walker, but I think there's little doubt the avant crooner was influential on this affecting album. A modest scope sets it apart from Walker, though. When recording with electronics, sparse accompaniment is an artistic choice. Within it's spare setting, Closed Circuits still draw out arch drama—arguably a formidable feat. Sure, if you remove all filigree, the smallest changes, the slightest gestures gain greater importance, but it all also must bear a greater burden of scrutiny. It takes skill and vision to keep songs (and the album as a whole) from turning monotonous. Each vignette on Breaker is a deftly executed scene, with a distinct voice and setting that succeed in their own settings, but add up to a applause-worthy whole.