Imagine someone at your otherwise-mundane party has dropped ecstasy; he's the only one there who has done so. Flushed, sweaty, intense, he stares everyone directly in the eyes and says things like "I see this light coming from behind and growing to enormous size. This is magic." Ignoring everyone's obvious discomfort, he presses on mercilessly: "Hey mister," he asks, locking eyes with you. "Don't you want to be right here?"
Citizen Snips sings these lines on I'm A Crab, his second album with synth programmer Smiley under the name Citizen Snips. And this role– the Jehovah's Witness ringing your doorbell at 7 a.m. to save your life, the AA member interrupting your lunch hour to explain how his fear of being loved led him to key your Volkswagen last April-- is the role that Snips plays on I'm a Crab. In his searingly direct live shows, which have often ended with Snips standing in the crowd, basking in the communal emotional wellspring he's summoned, and on record, Snips burns through surrounding obstacles in order make you feel what he is feeling. I'm A Crab is a gorgeous record– extraordinarily sung, hypnotically focused-- but it is Snip's sense of emotional urgency that makes it special. No-one else is likely to pin your ear back in quite the same way this year.