“Craigslistlieder,” as he called it, became a kind of classical-yet-poppy, ironic-yet-musical model. A generation of artists suddenly found the boundaries between genres much more permeable than they used to be — even if classical audiences seem more impressed by Kahane’s indie “cred” than the pop world has been by his classical achievements.
With little instrumental interludes inserted among the confessional songs, Kahane’s self-titled first album, released in 2008, sometimes tried too hard to blend all his interests: it’s classical, and pop, and theatrical, all in one, and it’s beautiful but exhausting.
These days, if he wants to make a comment about crossing genres, he tends to makes that the explicit subject of the piece, as in “Crane Palimpsest.” “Where Are the Arms,” his second album, is more purely pop than his first, with a shimmering production that recalls the work of Kahane’s friend and collaborator Sufjan Stevens.
Although I would like to avoid putting these composers in a box (because that’s exactly what they wouldn’t like!), surely there’s enough of a ‘thing’ going on here to consider it a discreet movement, different from the post-minimalists they are descended from? The reference to ‘Third Stream’ comes from this post.