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  • On her second solo full-length under the name Princess Century, Maya Postepski has moved away somewhat from the dramatic goth pop of Austra and her former band TR/ST. Her first solo album, 2013's Lossless, explored shadowy lo-fi darkwave and featured her own vocals, coming close to the work of Marie Davidson and other artists on Holodeck Records, but Progress is entirely instrumental, and journeys into more abstract terrain. The album's most accessible tracks, such as "Sunscream," are shimmering cosmic disco tunes that sound like they could be lighter, less gloomy versions of Austra songs. They also avoid sounding like personality-free club tracks, instead sounding like detailed, fully realized synth pop songs that just happen to lack vocals. Other tracks on the album, such as the longer "Tokyo Hands" and "Sheughnessy," build polyrhythmic percussion patterns and smear on gauzy synth textures, and the beatless "Fata Morgana" seems tailor-made for a suspenseful scene in a horror film. The eight-minute "Domestic" is Postepski's most straightforward horror-disco track yet, and the chilling closer "Metro" may be the album's most stunning moment. ~ Paul Simpson
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