This far into the history of pop music, there are few true originals. Instead, it’s really about finding the right influences and trying to make what has already been done feel new again. On her second album, It’s a Myth, Sneaks (AKA Eva Moolchan) accomplishes that as well as anyone I’ve heard this year. Her sound is indebted to minimalist post-punk groups like ESG and Young Marble Giants, but she has infused it with a modern hip-hop sensibility that makes it feel fresh.
Like her 80s inspirations, Moolchan keeps things simple on this album. She’s backed by just a drum machine, bass and occasional synthesizer and her delivery is a deadpan that is somewhere in the middle of singing and spoken word. At times, It’s a Myth feels inspired by slam poetry, but thankfully it dodges that art form’s common pitfall of being really corny due to her skill as a lyricist. While a lot of this spoken word poetry/punk music wants to hit you over the head with its themes, Moolchan is more interested in the sound and rhythm of the words and the interplay with the music. It’s an abstract approach that reminds me a bit of Sue Tompkins from Life Without Buildings.
It’s a Myth accomplishes something increasingly rare: it actually sounds cool. So many bands desperately try to sound cool (the uncoolest thing there is), but Moolchan just is. She has a casual confidence that makes the entire album feel smooth, and her charisma makes it consistently entertaining. It’s aided by her skill in editing her songs, which rarely cross the two-minute mark, with the whole album breezing by in just 18 minutes. It’s a Myth has the brevity and attitude of great punk music while also feeling effortless, unpretentious and fun.