"KDNY: A Compilation"
"KDNY: A Compilation" — self-released on September 10 — is the brainchild of Buffalo Sex Change's Phil Pierce, who produced the album as a fundraiser to offset the cost of his sister's recent kidney transplant. "KDNY" is a wide-ranging, 16-track smorgasbord of mostly heretofore unreleased material featuring mainly Rochester artists.
Amid the many compelling songs, there are a couple of standout tracks. On his cover of Buffalo Sex Change's "Part Time Lover," baritone crooner John Valenti (Passive Aggressives Anonymous) — that self-satirizing king of the chronically debonair set — offers up a dystopian dreamscape replete with atmospheric organ and background vocals that waft around like suave specters.
Before Pierce and bandmate Clayton Eddy formed Buffalo Sex Change, they were in the Brooklyn band Crawl Babies, which resurfaces here to deliver a reverb-laden gem of rock balladry called "Touch That Girl." The definitive highlight of the record, the song opens with the odd lyric "I touch that girl / Hosanna" before sprawling out into a gorgeous soundscape drenched in B3 organ sounds and the lonesome slide of an electric guitar.
But with such disparate styles as shoegaze, folk, and indie dream pop all cohabiting, the album's flow can occasionally be clunky — Shana Falana's catchy, hazy, and hip-hop-infused "Cloudbeat" preceded by MD Woods' straight-forward folk tune, "Low and Behold," comes to mind.