Fog started out as a one-man show, with Andrew Broder freely mixing folk, hip-hop and noise until he branched into more traditional (but still weird) pop song structures with 2005’s “10th Avenue Freakout,” and his evolution continues with “Ditherer,” which finds him working with a regular band for the first time. The result is a full-length collection of genre-hopping workouts with a bevy of indie guest stars (Andrew Bird, Martin Dosh, Why?, the Microphones’ Phil Elvrum).
Broder’s ability to write killer hooks and memorable pop melodies, only hinted at on his previous albums, finally comes into sharp focus on “Ditherer.” Tunes “We Will Have Vanished” and “You Did What You Thought” meander their way through different genres and sounds and wind up with dazzling sonic conclusions.
Likewise, the album largely swaps Broder’s previous acoustic guitars vs. turntables sound for more accessible post-rock, electronic noise and indie rock guitar sounds. Broder’s opaque lyrics are still too quirky for their own good at times, but they generally fit the music’s otherworldly qualities, especially on the nonsensical but strangely moving “Your Beef is Mine” and the creepy “What Gives.” Album closer, the ballad “What’s Up Freaks?” featuring Low’s Mimi Parker, is the LP’s standout.