Adam Green and Binki Shapiro are two names you haven’t likely heard of, but I assure you that you’ve come across at least one of them. Adam Green is one part of the anti-folk group The Moldy Peaches who were major contributors to the soundtrack of the film Juno. Binki Shapiro is one part of the band Little Joy whose music was used in the roller derby film Whip It! At the age of twenty-six, Shapiro is a young music veteran. Her projects cleverly teamed up with successful yet somewhat under-the-radar acts, positioning her to be a hidden gem as opposed to the belle of the ball.
It’s interesting that this album was released in the middle of the winter season as its sound is light and summery, much like Shapiro’s former project. The album boasts an easy rock sound that borderlines cheesy that could be compared to the sounds of Sondre Lerche, Jens Lekman or Beirut. I like to think this style of music is a lighter more jolly interpretation of a typical pop-rock tune. Their sound in particular makes great reference to old Serge Gainsbourg tunes with more prominent female vocals.
The tune “Casanova” is a very modern interpretation of an old doo-wop sound. Shapiro’s vocals swing and sway eloquently on their own without the help of Green. The tune “If You Want Me To” sounds identical to Shapiro’s past work with Little Joy, exemplifying a sense of apprehension and wryness. Shapiro’s work with Green differentiates from her former project in its assertiveness with catchy, strong numbers like “I Never Found Out” and the surf rock sound of “What’s the Reward.” Shapiro’s greater presence brings her into the lime light instead of her minute, supporting role in Little Joy.
The album very boldly ends on a meandering tune called “The Nighttime Stopped Bleeding.” The tune has a terrific flourishing chorus but is too underwhelming as a whole. It doesn’t feel like an adequate end to the album and leaves sounding incomplete.
Despite an underwhelming finish, I anticipate that Adam Green & Binki Shapiro will be one of the most underrated, lovely albums of the year. It also serves as the follow-up Little Joy album I likely will never get to hear.
Stream this lovely gem in its entirety here.