Album Review :
Bigfoot Wallace - Malleable

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Artist: Bigfoot Wallace

Album: Malleable

Label: None

Release Date: May 14, 2011

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson


  1. Turn em Loose
  2. Few and Far Between
  3. Noontime
  4. Malleable
  5. Smiling Face
  6. Stay in the Ground
  7. Enrichment
  8. Home of the Hebrew

As far as music critics go, I am hardly among the more cynical, but when a reader emailed me saying his 20-year-old friend just recorded an awesome album in his bedroom, I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical. Luckily, this reader was also right in saying “it is completely not what you would expect.” Bigfoot Wallace is actually Jon Hubbell, guitarist for Bearhug, and his solo debut, Malleable, will impress and inspire fans of spacey indie pop with a strong experimental leaning.

These eight songs have elements of M Ward, Umbrellas, Appleseed Cast, and even Fleet Foxes, but Bigfoot Wallace is always a little weirder, more outside the mainstream than any of those artists. At one moment he’s crooning over a soft piano and electronic drumbeat when suddenly a brass ensemble transitions the music flawlessly into a more rocking track with highly technical drumming.  Then there’s “Stay in the Ground,” a moving five minute tune that jumps from soaring strings and horns to plodding drums and piano. One of the best parts of the record is that Hubbell is able to maintain a sense of consistency even amid so much shift and change.

Overall: For all its intricacies, Malleable is relaxing and refreshing, allowing the listener to experience rest without shutting off your brain. It’s a smooth blend of acoustic guitars and electronic sounds, spiraling into freeform jazz and trance-inducing shoegaze. For the more adventurous listener of indie rock, Bigfoot Wallace just released one worthwhile debut.

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