Sean Schuster-Craig has been making music under the moniker Jib Kidder for a while now, beginning as a Girl Talk-esque collage artist and now as a DIY heavyweight just signed to Domino’s Weird World imprint. This likely has much to do with his opening slot on Panda Bear’s current European tour. Jib Kidder’s latest self-produced album is Teaspoon to the Ocean, and it’s a magnificent work of art from front to back. I’ve read some recent reviews calling the record a bit absent-minded and unfocused. I find the opposite to be true. Schuster-Craig’s compositions are inspired and exquisite. It might just be that the topics he explores on the album are literally an exploration of his dreams, as Schuster-Craig has said himself. With that in mind, it’s not unfair or inaccurate to label today’s version of Jib Kidder as psychedelic “dream” pop.
Album standouts are plenty. “Situations in Love” features highly processed, sliced and echoing vocals over staggered percussion and a layered collage of various melodies. “Dozens” sounds like a classic Built to Spill song being run through a dishwasher, although it’s the most accessible track on the record. Schuster-Craig’s vocals are front and center here and serve him well as a competent frontman. And that guitar solo! “Melt Me” is an incredibly moody and atmospheric track with a running time of 9+ minutes. The song starts with a simple bassline and backbeat and slowly swells with bells, chimes, shoegaze guitar and several layers of synths. Jib Kidder usually wears his influences on his sleeve by way of copying and pasting samples, but Teaspoon to the Ocean is his most original and stunning work to date. This is not only the best album I’ve heard in 2015 so far but the most addicting record I’ve listened to in years.