A welcome return to Portland duo Mint Julep on the blog today, who follow up last month’s A Rising Sun with an even more emphatically lovely slice of dreamy pop/shoegaze. Pulse builds from a steady kick drum and shimmering guitars to an all-consuming climax of astonishing intensity, with Hollie’s ghostly vocal a calming, spine-tingling presence throughout. Definite shades of Beach House at their most emphatically emotional. Plus: their new album A Deep And Dreamless Sleep lands next week. Happy daze indeed.
Dreamy pop from Portland duo Mint Julep for you today, taken from their new LP In a Deep and Dreamless Sleep which comes out next month. Really I feel like I should be listening to this at sunrise looking at something quietly spectacular: an endless desert, a hazy cityscape, etc. Instead, obviously, I’m looking at the same view I’ve been looking at pretty much non-stop for about the last year: a window, a road, a little bit of sky. The fact that it’s still making me feel overwhelmingly nostalgic and really quite happy categorically proves its greatness.
Sitting around the midpoint of Casper Clausen’s debut solo album Better Way, Snow White demands special attention, standing out even amidst the rest of this intriguing LP. Yes, Clausen often resembles Bono vocally (a comparison that Stereogum deemed vital enough to spend the majority of their album review hashing out), but this is far weirder, dreamier, warmer and more interesting than anything U2 ever recorded, so let’s say no more about it. Snow White doesn’t so much start as slowly materialise in front of you, something that’s always been there but that you’ve only just noticed, and proceeds to drift effortlessly along on a haze of spectral synths and drums that sound like their buried under a ton of smoking dust.
“Inspired by sci-fi art, cult mentality and deep connections, creating low fidelity chameleon dreamscapes somewhere between abstract expressionism and surrealism both sonically and visually” isn’t a sentence I thought I’d be writing today (or more accurately lazily copying and pasting from the bio section of Reptaliens’ Bandcamp page), but listening to Do You Know? I know exactly where they’re coming from. This is from their new EP Wrestling which has a similar dreamy, DIY vibe as Kai Hugo’s I’m Cindy project which I also really like: all crunchy, lo-fi drums and nostalgic, shimmering pads.
Calling a record Cheese and then throwing in a guitar solo Chris Rea would be proud of is arguably a risky move, but US synthpop duo Young Ejecta completely get away with it. I’m a sucker for breathy, washed out vocals, and they’re there in abundance on Cheese alongside a Hold On, We’re Going Home-esque mid tempo beat and delicate, dreamy pads. Man it’s great, and if you’re not just even a little moved by it I really can’t help you.
Cindy is an alias of Kai Hugo, who produces various shades of house music as Palmbomen II. The backstory of the Cindy project is fascinating and involves the X-Files and an extensive fictional biography for ‘Cindy’. It’s too lengthy to go into in detail here, but there’s a great Quietus review of the album complete with David Lynch comparisons that you should check out if you’re so inclined. In terms of the music, Never Let Me Go is part stripped-down electro, part dream-pop and entirely beguiling.
I had never heard of I Break Horses until about half an hour ago, but I’m pretty sure that after listening to Turn three times on the bounce they are my new favourite band. Granted this is the only song of theirs I’ve ever listened to, and that may seem premature, but just listen to it: it’s absolutely spectacular. Not sure I even want to listen to the rest of the album as surely it can’t live up to the epic magnificence of one of the best, most powerful opening tracks I’ve heard in recent years. Can it?