Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dead Leaf Echo / Slowness split on Green Fuse Records

The Brooklyn four piece Dead Leaf Echo sent in this split single they did with Slowness on Green Fuse Records a few weeks back. A little less than a year ago I listened to another single of theirs on Custom Made Music which actually compelled me to mention Oscar Wilde? I'll give them this, I'm still into this nostalgic sound, which has elements of Ride, Curve, Lush...all the one name English shoegaze sounds and can't help but recall that time period for me. Along with Slowness out of San Francisco, both sides are forcing some rethinking about the contemporary relevance of the genre for me on grey Thursday.

For instance the DLE-Side's "Act of Truth has that perfect late '80s tone from something like OMD, the airy vocals, the background of heavy chorus guitars... this utter sense of weightlessness and optimism, beyond just the pleasant pop of Psychedelic Furs or Modern English. Dead Leaf Echo aren't driven by anything other than the appreciation of these huge, cavernous, breathy sounds. Ana B. on guitar and keys (keytar?) works back and forth with Christo, he takes on the verse while she oo and ah's behind the scenes, that perfect gaze element: the female vocal. The production on this thing is impeccable, you have all the skill and craft of a gleaming monolith like The Flaming Lips but under a cloud of melody, this thick fog that never really settles for the whole track, almost becoming psychedelic. It's still catchy and aspiring to that pop place, just by default taking it's sweet time and enjoying the ride. It's a great sound that doesn't necessarily have to be also buried under recording limitations, the hiss and fuzz is all in your head on this one. Fantastic airy, romantic throwback track. I'm nostalgic today maybe...and definitely tired from the turkey. My wife also just told me about DIIV and it's all coming together and blowing my mind.

The B-Side from Slowness, "Race to Mars" is right away a perfect compliment, working in the big delayed effects.... maybe digging deeper into this beat possibly which is a little higher in the mix, but the higher register vocals of Geoff are already up there and are doing fine without the angelic feminine can never hurt really, but it's nothing that feels missing. Nice addition of a kind of sitar sounding electric, bouncing off the walls in a solo pause. I like this whole idea in the genre of introducing a haphazardness with the plethora of effects. You know basically what's going to happen, but let's face it, they're doing a lot of the work and it's kind of exciting, walking into the unknown like that on any given track...from either of these two really. You have to recreate this and it's going to be near impossible. In fact you are probably going to be the only one who knows how to even pull this off. My favorite kind of shoegaze.

Nice, thick handscreened grey sleeve with red ink. Stamped inner labels and download cards, a real farmers market style single, lovingly raised free range by Green Fuse Records. Pick this up now or it's going to be part of The Seven Inch Revolution! Count me in.

You can give it a listen over here on their soundcloud page, no embed code on the single release, but here's a remix by DLE, which is Dead Leaf Echo I'm assuming, and also maybe a good way for a band to approach a track as an alternate version I hate that word remix so much.

Slowness' side:

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