Eva Moolchan prizes sonic economy. As Sneaks, her two albums for Merge have been post-punk master classes driven by thrumming bass lines, tense drum machine beats, and clipped vocals. Indeed, Moolchan uses musical limitations to her advantage. Sneaks’ lyrics twist familiar phrases and incorporate playful rhyming wordplay (“Door to door/Knees on the floor/Seashells by the seashore”), all in service of commentary on conformity, relationships, and how to navigate divisive entities. “Anxiety/You take the best of me,” Moolchan sings on “X.T.Y.,” an accusatory tone creeping into her voice. “You turn me inside out/And then you ruin me.” But the D.C. DIY scene vet isn’t interested in musical stasis. On 2017’s It’s A Myth—a collaboration with another D.C. iconoclast, Mary Timony—Moolchan amplifies her robotic rhythms and occasionally slathers on big keyboards, echoing early hip-hop’s electro indulgences.
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