Lone Pigeon

A person has to be fairly out-there to be too wacky for the Beta Band, the Scottish group prone to wearing flowing togas while crafting psychedelia fit for a pastoral bank holiday. Yet Gordon Anderson, a.k.a. the Lone Pigeon, a.k.a. one of the Beta Band's founders, left the group because of mental illness shortly after they inked a label deal and has yet to return to their fold. Like other great off-kilter artists, however, the dirty bird channels his madness into the construction of truly twisted but truly great songs. As on his debut, Concubine Rice, Schoozzzmmii finds Pigeon building upon the Beta's trademark pop-ready drones ("Boats," "Sound of a Gun," "Sallyzimmerman"). Yet Schoozzz relies on chipped fragments of sound for the bulk of its bewitching content, darting from understated jungle-zoo electronica à la Four Tet ("Armando") to a lo-fi gospel spiritual ("Touched by Tomoko") and plenty of quirky, White Album-era Beatles acoustic ditties ("Silver Ship"). In fact, the disc often resembles a surreal nursery rhyme: "Brown Cow" implores a bovine to head home, while the sing-songy "The Magic Mouse of Mupping Keep" features sinister witch-cackling after several minutes of kid-friendly carousel fare. It's not quite Smile, but Schoozzz hints that at the very least Pigeon might one day bust out with his own Pet Sounds.