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Boomkat Product Review:
You'd imagine the prospect of an album recorded directly into the internal microphone of a laptop to be a fairly dismal one: probably some lazy, sketched-out singer-songwriter affair. That's certainly not the case here however. Dylan McKeever's Antarctica Takes It channels an expansive ensemble format in the vein of Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Seabear, or Loney, Dear configuring his sprightly, exuberant songs via strings, brass, accordion, piano and glockenspiel, all captured by that measly laptop mic. You could never reasonably expect this album to sound as good as it does, but somehow it all comes together with remarkable clarity. The Penguin League is lo-fi by necessity rather than by design, and like all the best records faced with strict technical restrictions it's continually fighting against them - and more often than not, winning. Sure, you'll be wondering where all the bass went on tracks like 'Antarctica', 'Flightless Birds' and 'I'm No Lover', but that all contributes towards this record's considerable charm. 22-year old McKeever's songwriting comes across brilliantly, transcending the potential awkwardness of the production. It makes you wonder what he's going to sound like when he gets access to a proper studio. Highly recommended.