This sophomore effort from Cosmic Starfish cuts loose with an electro-folk sensibility that reflects the art-synth-pop culture of this one-man band’s Los Angeles hometown: cluttered, at times cutesy, and always über-hip. Tonight’s Favor is a nine-track circus that comes dangerously close to bizarre but deserves recognition as lone composer Jeffrey Randall Snyder’s showcase for cheesy electronica, Donovan-inspired folk and Beck-style psychedelia.
The tracks are densely packed with spacey beats and odd noises, supported only by Snyder’s simple yet potent acoustic guitar. They create an unpredictable psychedelic sheen—with flashes of the ubiquitous rhythms of Aqueduct and enough abstract soundscapes to accurately reflect a Stephen Merritt-fronted Magnetic Fields. It could be messy and unattractive, but instead has an exotic allure.
The title track is quintessential textured electronica with an indie-pop bounce and nasal vocals. “Moonbounce” is lunar-motivated folktronica that smacks of Postal Service in a warm if unspectacular way. The tribal and anxiety-ridden “Halo Operadora” screams rout, yet finds compromise; like the other tracks on Tonight’s Favor, the bliss is maddening. (Jonathan Stumpf)
Cosmic Starfish plays Liquid Planet Saturday, Sept. 8, at 7 PM. Free.