The Lapse of Exchange, is the sound of life as heard from a small Chinatown window in downtown Manhattan, the thunder of populism on the horizon. The album opens with music that reflects the inherent tension between the life of the artist – the self-doubt, the late nights, the aspirations – and the world outside – the hustle and bustle of a city that never sleeps, the wars abroad, the politicians at home. It's a tension felt in the repeating, circling keys of "Let The Pianos Freeze," the pulsating rhythms of "No Juntos," or the call and response of pitched vocal samples in "A Sword In The Rain."
Ultimately it all becomes too much for our unwitting hero: the car horns outside the window, the 24 hour news cycle, the early stages of an election that tears down any remaining semblance of normality. Reto A Ichi can no longer grasp his humanity or connect to that of people around him. With the walls closing in, he packs his small life and escapes. This change in situation is reflected in the second half of the album, with tension giving way to a rush of emotions: modulated elation on "All Regrets," sweeping melancholy on "Tuesdays Always Awful, and soaring hope on "Broad Plant Pt. 2."