This is the start of a busy six months for fans of John Maus. The release of Screen Memories, his fourth full-length work, is the lead up to the six LP boxed-set (including his next album Addendum) in the spring of 2018. Screen Memories is part of the set but, apparently, you won't end up with two copies of it, though that may depend when and where you buy it (which seems overly complicated). Either way here it is on its own now, six years after Maus's excellent We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves.
Fans have nothing to fear as Maus has in no way deviated from his tried and tested ghostly electronica sound. Right from the start of opening track 'The Combine' you're pitched into the moody vocals & lightly anthemic synths & strings.
The press release for the album doesn't detail whether this is in fact a collection of songs dedicated to Maus's favourite TV experiences over the years but 'Teenage Witch' may well be about Sabrina & recent single 'Touchdown' possibly celebrates the Superbowl or the general televising of American Football. The remaining song titles are rather more ambiguous but no doubt you'll be able to relate them to shows if you try.
With that sameness of sound in mind it's safe to say that this as good an access point to Maus's work as any of the older works that will feature in the (seemingly so far unnamed) boxed-set when that arrives next year. Those of you previously unfamiliar with the man's output can safely dip your toe in the water here.
'Find Out' is a particular highlight for me as Maus punks things up a bit and gets the adrenalin flowing nicely in this call to pogo. It's a testament to his enduring skill that the change of pace doesn't then disrupt the flow of the far more relaxed tunes either side of it.
Screen Memories is available from Ribbon Music here.