Originally released back in 1997, Hydroplane’s eponymous – and only – debut album has just been reissued by Melbourne-based Efficient Space. If like me you were completely unaware of its existence until now, it’s really worth giving it a listen: its DIY production aesthetic coupled with singer Kerrie Bolton’s hushed vocal results in a dreamlike atmosphere akin to Liz Harris’s work as Grouper, albeit with less existential angst. Opening track Wurlitzer Jukebox should be enough to convince you it’s a worthy investment of your time.
I played this to my daughter at the weekend, fully expecting us to bond over its easily accessible hooks and soft-focus melodies and after a couple of minutes she looked at me and said “This is ok, but let’s listen to something else”. What a dick! It’s much better than ok. But then maybe I’ve been sucked in by the Carpenters-evoking cover art and the fact that it was really warm and sunny when I first listened to it. Anyway, you can judge for yourself. Turns out 6 year-olds really have no taste at all.
Tell me the lie is the debut single from British Armenian Ripsime and was written a week before war broke out in Armenia back in 2020. Parts of the video was filmed in the Artsakh region, most of which was subsequently destroyed in the war, adding an extra level of poignance to what is already a disarmingly affecting slice of dreamy indie pop, and a remarkably assured, fully-formed first single.
A couple of years ago I went to see ‘A Celebration of Talk Talk and Mark Hollis’ in London: a hastily thrown together live show following the death of Hollis earlier that year, with various singers stepping into their iconic frontman and creative driving force’s shoes. It was patchy to say the least, and the variety show-style version of It’s My Life was among the most painful things I’ve seen. One shining light however was Orlando Weeks, who not only resembles Hollis vocally, but seemed to be the only guest artist who not only knew, but genuinely felt the heartbreak of the Spirit of Eden-era output. His performance of I Believe In Your was quietly devastating, and he’s been on my radar since then. Talk Talk members: if you’re reading this (ha) a tour with Orlando is something I’d be very interested in.
Anyway, this is taken from his new album Hope Up, and it’s lovely.
This post is the very pinnacle of missing the boat. Mother Of Pearl was originally released nearly 40 years ago back in 1985, and even though it was reissued last year, that was in April, which I also missed. Finger. On. The. Pulse. Also: I’d never even heard of Scribble before. Thankfully what awaits you at the end of this long list of abject failures is an absolutely brilliant eight minute dream pop epic that sounds like it could have been made yesterday, and that calls to mind Talking Heads, Cocteau Twins and many more celebrated 80s pioneers.
My obsession with anything that even vaguely evokes the 80s continues unabated, satiated generally today by Bristol-based artist Lucy Gooch’s beautiful EP Rain’s Break, and specifically by this track, with its sparse, crystalline synth lines and breathy vocals. Gooch said of the EP that she wanted to create something “with a dissonance and eeriness to it”, and those aims have absolutely been fulfilled, the resulting EP providing a brief but engrossing escape from the relentless grind of reality.
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.