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Artworks 000005280229 Tv5R6E Original
Capillary Action's Jonathan Pfeffer has passed the litmus test of Genius

Capillary Action’s second studio album, Capsized, sounds like a band Messiaen would have put together with five Brazilian percussionists and a cadre of Phil Spector era background singers had he grown up in Philadelphia in the 90’s and played the guitar. Which is to say with wit’s brevity, ‘it don’t sound like nothing else.’ Jonathan Pfeffer, the brains, six-strings, heart, and fearless baritone behind CA’s rapture-inducing façade, is a mother. He represents everything that is laudable about good music. Most notably, he is with us on the heart level – belting out narratives that are eerily confessional, playful, and yearning. He has synthesized all the good music he has ever heard in his heart, digested it with his aural digestive enzymes, and a beautifully crystalline sweetness is the result. Accordion clusters, dinner table knocks, arco double bass swells, bullhorn imperatives, virtuoso guitar dives, trumpet leaps, egg shaker crescendos, Chinese opera gong smacks all thunked and wacked angularly and there is Jon singing what seems like a very natural melody in the middle of semi-tone clusters stacked across the entire audible frequency range. He has passed the litmus test of Genius by not only making the simple out of the complex – making consonance out of dissonance – but by making us cry and laugh and swoon and dance throughout all of the sharply contrasted blocks of this strange, beautiful music.

Ryan Wieghard