Distance Engine

Songs in Alphabetical Order is a bit of a departure for Will Baumgartner, former Action Figure 8 frontman and new-wave affiliate. Beginning with a bossa nova rhythm and an Americana-meets-early-R.E.M.-jangle-rock sound, Baumgartner steers clear of the funk and jazz of his earlier endeavors on this short EP, instead favoring a simpler, plainer style of songwriting. The bluesy "God Knows I" and "Road Rash" are perhaps the most conventional, if solidly written, songs of the set. However, the project shines on the gentle intricacy and drive of "Life Like Feel," sounding a bit like early-'80s solo Pete Townshend. Closing track "So Many Hummingbirds" is the standout, with its dusky vibes and driving middle section not unlike when Luna covered Donovan.

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