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"Mold Eats Paper"

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King of Spain: 'Mold Eats Paper'

King of Spain: 'Mold Eats Paper'

"Mold Eats Paper"

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91091621/91091988" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

King of Spain is the experimental music project of Tampa, FL multi-instrumentalist Matt Slate. His debut album, Entropy is an artful collection of intricately crafted electro-folk songs, built with pulsating guitars, strange ambient sounds and looped vocal parts that showcase Slate's distinctively raspy voice. It's a refreshingly rich and unpredictable mix drenched in reverb and spacious effects. Slate plays all the instruments and wrote and recorded the album at his home.

Entropy opens with its most memorable cut, "Mold Eats Paper." Two simple guitar notes quiver back and forth throughout the piece with pulsing bass and looped vocal lines. Though the song doesn't change much over the course of four minutes, it never feels flat.

Slate originally intended Entropy to be an instrumental album, but decided to add lyrics after his music caught the ear of New Granada Records. With the prospect of putting out a label-backed release, Slate decided to drop most of the instrumental elements, re-recorded all the vocals with better mics and added some new tracks. The lyrics he came up with are sometimes puzzling ("If you do your best to keep your gutters clean it will help to avoid roof damage"). (That's very true, incidentally). But there are some more universal musings ("Have you stopped to wonder how it happens, as years turn into decades, you're nothing like the person you thought you would be.") that keep the album grounded.

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Matt Slate got his start as the singer and songwriter for The Maccabees and Pohgoh. He took a five-year break from music before returning in 2006 to record Entropy. He's currently at work on a follow-up, with a short tour planned for the east coast this Summer.

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