I often sing the praises of the role modern technology plays in making the recording of great-sounding music incredibly easy. The following record goes to show that this can't be overstated.
Florida based "noisy americana shoegazey dream folkpop" (one of my favourite genres) band Lazarus consist largely of Travis Browning, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who recorded the Ketamine EP on Garageband using nothing but the built-in mic on his MacBook. With this remarkably DIY approach, Lazarus managed to produce some luscious pop soundscapes that I've been totally captivated with.
Starting out in the writing process as a country album, an organic evolution into noisier, poppier realms is palpable. At the bottom level the songs are beautifully well written, if simply structured, and the performances are as tight as they'd ever need to be. Add to that a blanket of tastefully appointed reverb, synth lines, and well placed distorted guitars, and the end result is just seducing. As sonically lovely as the production is though, it could stand to be mastered a little louder. I'd welcome being blasted in the face with this stuff.
If you can only listen to one song, make it Tattoos 'n' Things. It's one of my favourite songs I've heard recently and I often have to remind myself it was recorded with the built-in mic on a friggin' laptop.
Ketamine EP can be downloaded on a pay-whatever-you-like basis on bandcamp.