There is a romance to Edison's first tin foil phonograph recording; a human voice enveloped in crackling, unearthly static. If you think you sound weird on your answering machine, just imagine the first recorders who not only had to ask themselves, “Do I really sound like that?” but “Do I always sound so lost?”
Peninsula brings this claustrophobic solitude to the forefront. He records mainly with one cheap microphone in a laundry room. You can hear the damp walls cushion his voice and ground his songs with a haunted loneliness. Tape hiss isn't new to pop, but Peninsula uses it make his songs sound starved and aching.
All this comes together on stand out swamp stomper “We Love to Hurt Each Other”—a tale of family relations gone sour made sinister by ominous static and a ravenous blues lick. Children's toys are played for percussion, but in the smothering presence of the room their innocence is gone.
Peninsula plays all-ages New Crompton, 4711 12th Ave. NE, on July 22.