The clearest tie with Cobblestone is—what else? —jazz. But rather than adapting that music's group-improvisatory methods, ala the trio (or quartet, if the Mole-enhanced lineup that made the group's last album holds), Tate likes to work with riffs and patterns that sound like they were performed by people who've had a few, then tweak them till they're squiggly, airy, fizzy and utterly comfortable with their own loopiness. Take the relatively quiet "OK Then." Here, the piano and bass and percussion are all playing recognizably jazzy figures very quickly. Speed is as much a jazz trait as anything, but here the instruments' speed of delivery feels tweaked and slightly cartoony—like someone who can wear neon orange and hot pink together without seeming desperate for attention.
"Shootingblanks" is more straightforwardly jazz-funky, almost loungey, with a loose hi-hat pattern, very dry snares and nod-along electric keyboards, but the "vocals"—snatches of syllables occasionally passing through the mix like extra percussion—give the groove more of an off-kilter feel. "I'll Be Your Whatever" goes furthest out, changing tempo and feel several times within a short span. But if "wacky" was the point, this album wouldn't be worth discussing. Tate's weirdness isn't an end in itself—he's rickety and jittery in a way that feels lifelike as well as arty. And he layers things in ways that draw connections. "Populatio," for instance, makes a short, hypnotic two-chord piano pattern its base, like a midway point between modern jazz piano and the mnemonic riffs at the heart of house music.