Beach House : 7

It took me a bit before I truly could appreciate the magic of Beach House’s music. The Baltimore band’s appeal eluded me their first couple records. What I’d heard off of Teen Dream and then Bloom was nice in a passerby sort of way, but I didn’t know what all the accolades were about. What I heard was sort of a slow motion version of Cocteau Twins, but maybe a little sadder.

Then on a whim I bought Devotion at my local record store and things  began to make sense. It was a slow motion melancholy hidden under programmed drums and droning keys. Victoria Legrand’s vocals were a little raspy, but contained in them a wisdom of the soul beyond her years. The more you listened the more you felt you were hearing someone’s true essence being relayed through song. Alex Scally built these musical mazes for Legrand to get lost in and ruminate on life and the sadness that sometimes comes along with it.

What I’ve eventually discovered is that Beach House’s music is something that comes across simple at first, but reveals many more depths and layers with repeated listens. Teen Dream and Bloom proved to be little masterpieces, but for my ears Depression Cherry is one of their best. It dials down from their previous records and settles into a slow motion melancholy that comes to a beautiful and crushing finale with “Days of Candy”.

So as not to fall into a rut of sorts, Scally and Legrand went into their new album 7 with louder ambitions. They brought in producer Sonic Boom(aka Spacemen 3’s Peter Kember) to add some weight to the band’s bottom end. The result is a harder Beach House, but one that still retains the dream quality of their sound that they established over ten years ago with their debut. As with each of their previous records, every spin of 7 reveals a deeper beauty and a more complex emotional weight than before.

The first thing you notice with Beach House’s excellent new LP is it’s louder. They’ve taken their sleepy sound and have added a metallic sheen, a byproduct of Sonic Boom’s deft sonic touches. Album opener “Dark Spring” jumps from the speakers like My Bloody Valentine, but smoother and with less blunt force. I never thought Beach House needed to be louder and more gruff in their delivery, but “Dark Spring” makes me second guess that. There’s a vitality here that wasn’t there before. Those songs from the ether have been woken into a fever dream. “Pay No Mind” lulls back into Legrand and Scally’s usual dreamy state, but with more emphasis on the low end. “Lemon Glow” pops and flows like some lost 80s radio hit; a song you know you know but you’re not sure why. This is the proto-Beach House sound. It’s familiar and inviting, but with a noisier vibe. It’s Beach House, but with an industrial lean.

Beach House, for my money, never have to veer from the sonic world they’ve created. It’s a familiar place that I want to go to because I know what to expect and that I understand it’s place in my head. It’s nostalgic, but for something that never existed. Except for in the heads and hearts of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. Lucky for me it’s an imagined world that I often long to be in. “L’inconnue” is one such imagined world. It opens like the petals of some exotic flower, inviting you in to exist within its colors and aromas. Legrand sings palates of hues; blues, pinks, whites, and deep reds. The simplicity of the beat lulls you into a place of near transcendence.

Beach House are transcendent.

Elsewhere, “Drunk in LA” captures some of that Cocteau Twins/This Mortal Coil magic. This is a near perfect track thanks to a mournful mood with an unexpected uplift hidden just under the surface. “Lose Your Smile” lives within the past and present. It has the sound of an old 60s European pop track, a Cowboy Junkies b-side, and something very current and vital. “Girl of the Year” is awash in dense, lovely keys. It’s regal sound and Legrand nearly whispering “You slide out on Sunset, Head west on Marest” takes you from your surroundings and drops you into her world. “Last Ride” spans over 7 minutes and ends the album quietly, in contrast to it’s noisier beginnings. It ends in a wall of subtle guitar squall that disappears into the ether.

Sonic Boom succeeds in expanding Beach House’s carefully-curated musical world without shaking things up too much. His touch is felt in the denser low end and noisier aspects of some of these songs, but this is still very much a Beach House album. It nods to Phil Spector-like sonics, 4AD melancholy, and an otherworldly feel that Beach House have perfected. 7 is an absolute stunning record of dark beauty and melancholy mood, and one of their best albums yet.

8.7 out of 10

Landing : Bells In New Towns

Connecticut’s Landing are a band that seem to evolve and reshape with every new album. On their 2015 El Paraiso Records debut Third Sight it was a slightly psychedelic, slightly ambient affair with hints of delicate dream pop thrown in for good measure. But the velveteen hushes on that great album were just a fraction of the sonic world Landing have haunted for what is now nearly 20 years of making records, seemingly under the radar. The husband and wife duo of Aaron and Adrienne Snow met in college back in the 90s and found partners in art, as well as life, in each other. Along with Daron Gardner and several contributors over the years, which now includes John Bent, Landing has explored everything from 90s indie rock to Komische to late 80s 4AD titans over several self-released albums and EPs.

Landing is the best band you may have never heard of.

 

On their second release for the Danish El Paraiso Records Landing have reeled in the hushed ambient tones and woozy psychedelia for a more driving sound. Bells In New Towns recalls everything from Neu! to Dinosaur Jr to Ride to Lush, all of which goes into the Landing machine and comes out through buzzing amps and monitors as something slightly new and off kilter. There’s a real urgency in the driving rhythms and bass lines that make this record an all out summer record. There’s still plenty of contemplative moods here, but this one also really rocks.

Right out of the gate, Bells In New Towns changes things up from last time. “Nod” opens the album in an explosion of drums and distorted bass that sounds like a decidedly louder and more rocking shift from last time. Wavering electronics hang in the air as Adrienne’s vocals faintly tease over music that would’ve been right at home on MBV’s Glider or Tremolo EPs. Aaron’s tenure in shoegaze/dream pop band Kindling might’ve rubbed off onto this amazing track. “By Two” feels slightly more wistful, with airy keys and acoustic guitar opening the song. The vocals and drums come in and give the track a more driving feel. Long car rides and contemplation seem proper to go with a song like this. “Gravitational VII” is an exquisite synth piece. It feels like getting lost along the way in a glowing cloud of memories. Hallucinatory, but in the best way possible. “Bright” is all out driving, motorik beats with heady synthesizer giving the impression we’ve traveled back to Berlin, circa 1974. It sounds like Kraftwerk-inspired shoegaze.

Bells In New Towns, even with more pop-oriented tracks, feels more exploratory than even the ambient tones of Third Sight. There’s a feeling of movement on this record. A forward motion into the unknown. Landing sounds like a rock band here. Not that they weren’t a rock band, but these tracks push that notion right into your ears.

There are moments of hazy contemplation, though. A track like “Secret” has the artful spirit of Popul Vuh mixed with the dream pop grandeur of The Besnard Lakes, while “Gravitational VIII” pushes those analog dreams further into your brain with synthesizer circuits dotting your cerebral cortex. “Fallen Name”, however, is an absolutely gorgeous pop track. Lilting like the best Yo La Tengo but dreamy like Auburn Lull, the track achieves a certain kind of personal transcendence not often found nowadays. On the flip side, “Wait Or Hide” is both jagged guitar and psychedelia rolled into one. Slightly more Sebadoh than Dino Jr. The tranquil “Second Sight” closes out the record with chiming sonics and big sky openness.

With Bells In New Towns, Landing turn up the amps and the urgency in their songs. Where Third Sight was like a waking dream, Bells is wide awake and forward motion to something, or someone, of significance. This album sounds and feels like a classic indie rock record in the making.

8.3 out of 10

 

Moon Loves Honey : You Drift Away From Me

As soon as you hit play on Moon Loves Honey’s debut record You Drift Away From Me there is an instant tilt in the atmosphere. The world’s axis seems to turn slightly, causing a slight dizziness. A woozy high envelopes your head and all seems mildly good once again in the world, even if for just the length of a record. The Danish dream pop/psych pop band is the brainchild of one man band Jeppe Dengsø. Dengsø started writing and recording the debut full-length in May of 2016. His acute attention to detail made this process a long and tedious one, but one that pays off well. You Drift Away From Me is a beautifully put together piece of dream pop heaven, and could very well be your favorite summer musical affair.

The album opens on the dreamy and druggy “To Be With You”, a slice of modern shoegaze in the vein of Young Prisms and Wild Nothing. There’s a wavering guitar line that also makes one pine for those classic Cocteau Twins albums of yore. Jeppe Dengsø’s voice is soothing with a nice falsetto that seems to absorb into the overall sonics. “Lonely Day” is a cleverly put-together slice of 80s synth radio fun. Dengsø is borrowing some of Kevin Parker’s studio tricks on this slickly produced song. If you’re going to take notice of someone, Kevin Parker is a great one to take notice of. “You Drift Away From Me” seems to convey the feeling of losing someone close to you through the cavernous reverb that coats the vocals, as if the singing is taking place in the back of your mind.

Elsewhere, “Is It Just A Dream?” has a shoegaze quality to it in the Ride-like guitar and heavily-affected vocals. There’s a real driving feel in the bass and drums, too. “Before I Crash” blends distorted guitar and synths well, while the vocals have a Diiv feel to them. The vibe of this album is very Captured Tracks via 2012. The New York label was putting out great shoegaze/dream pop records by Wild Nothing, Craft Spells, Diiv back then, and You Drift Away From Me captures that vibe incredibly well. It all comes to an end with the hypnotic “Replaced”. Dreamy vocals echo on as programmed rhythms carry the song into the ether. The songs seems to implode into a thousand sighs, like Brian Wilson disintegrating into the milky way.

Jeppe Dengsø, aka Moon Loves Honey, keeps things generally light on this debut. The psychedelic undertones aren’t counter-culture, but rather have the feeling of slight dazed comtemplation; looking across a body of water at sunset longing for someone not there. Or even the distant stare during a conversation you’re not quite paying attention to while in it. Moving along through the day-to-day while still fully aware that something, or someone, is missing from it. Moon Loves Honey’s debut was born out of distance between two close friends, and yet there’s a hopefulness to the melancholy. You Drift Away From Me, despite the sadness, banks on the hope that the friend will eventually drift back.

7.7 out of 10

Dorias Baracca : Dorias Baracca

You probably haven’t heard the name Dorias Baracca before. They were a shoegaze/dream pop band that formed in Odense, Denmark way back in 2007 by a group of young friends. They were inspired by the giants of the genre that came before them; Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and the like. In 2010 Dorias Baracca released a well-regarded EP, one that began to make a name for the band. “…Already light years ahead of many peers who’ve spent entire careers searching for a similar happy medium”, said one well established music site. So in 2011 the band began recording what would be their full-length debut, a record that surely would’ve solidified the band’s future as one of the great new rock bands of the 21st century.

But it was not to be.

In the summer of 2011, the same day that the band had finished recording their stellar debut album, lead singer, guitar player and main songwriter Buster Svendsen passed away. The band with so much promise and fire had ended in the course of a day, and with it that debut LP. For various reasons the recordings Dorias Baracca had created were shelved for years. That is, until now.

Azure Vista Records have released Dorias Baracca’s debut album for the world to hear. Co-produced, mixed, and mastered by Jonas Munk(Causa Sui, Billow Observatory, Manual, Ulrich Schnauss), the album is a testament to the longevity of great music and the youthful heart. It is a blistering shot of shoegaze, psychedelia, and early 90s alternative rock. And it is a fitting tribute to the memory of Buster Svendsen.

In just 38 minutes, Dorias Baracca encapsulates what makes the shoegaze genre such an exciting one. They veer in and out of dreamy pop, jagged guitar noise, and the ethereal pondering that the classics of the genre often influenced us to do. “Handsome Melting Point”, the opening track, brings to mind Ride and Chapterhouse, but with a heavier edge. Where some of those classics, however great, could come across thin in the final mix, here there’s a heft in the dense sonics. There’s more in common here with modern bands like Whirr and Nothing than Lush and Catherine Wheel. “Dean & Dane” is all summer holiday bliss. It’s a breezy car ride to the shore with the top down and someone you could love forever sitting next to you. Munk’s mastering here is near perfection. Where others may have mixed and mastered this to a two-dimensional conclusion, Munk creates an all-encompassing sound experience. Even in the dreamier moments there’s something darker just under the surface. Guitars squealing and whirring halting the good vibes, before things pick back up and the sun peaks out once again from behind the dark clouds. “Fed” is a hard-driving track, recalling a more clear-eyed version of My Bloody Valentine. Svendsen’s vocals have a hint of Kevin Shields here, albeit a more spry version of the shoegaze pioneer. It’s a telling track and one you don’t soon forget. “Shaky Dreams(You and Me Forever)” is haunting. A mix of Lush’ melancholy and Dorias Baracca’s own modern twist. It’s an overwhelmingly beautiful track. young prism’s In Between comes to mind here.

Elsewhere, “Another Day(Without Shoes)” takes the shoegaze feels into more modern territory. When I say this has more in common with bands like Nothing and Whirr, keep in mind this was coming from half a world away and 3 years before Nothing’s full-length debut Guilty Of Everything. There’s elements of dreamy pondering as well as heavier, denser fare scattered throughout that would be the hallmark of Dorias Baracca’s American counterparts a couple of years later. “Goodbye” brings to mind Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, in part with the open, chugging riff. It quickly takes a turn into something you might’ve located hidden in Captured Tracks’ shoegaze archive back in the day. “Wake Me Up(With A Kiss)” is an all-out dream pop beauty. Big drums, jangly guitars, and ethereal vocals layer over one another to create a dense and dreamy ending to this captured musical moment in time.

While Dorias Baracca had their foundations in classic bands, the biggest takeaway here is how they were creating their own voice among a chorus of many. That’s the trick you know, taking your influences and mixing them like paint in your own musical palate; creating new and exciting colors to paint with. On just a mere 7 tracks recorded in the summer of 2011, Dorias Baracca were well on their way to making a name for themselves as an exciting and creatively vital rock band. They had the musicianship and songwriting chops, and they had the drive and creativity to pretty much go as far as they wanted. Unfortunately fate stepped in and all of it ended. Until now, with this debut.

Seven years on and we can finally hear the promise Dorias Baracca held. Play this loud, and often.

Preorder Dorias Baracca here.

8.4 out of 10

Landing’s “Nod” is Out Of Sight

I came to Connecticut’s Landing by way of Denmark. We met up in a pub called El Paraiso Records, had a few pints, got to know each other, and now they are fast becoming a favorite ghost that haunts my skull. Thanks El Paraiso for introducing us. I have to say I’m a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t ever heard of Landing before 2016, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. You sometimes never notice the best view is right from your backyard. Not that Connecticut can be seen from my Midwest perch, but you get the gist.

To say Landing is a prolific band is an understatement. They’ve been putting out various full-lengths, EPs, and ambient sound excursions for 20 years now. The husband/wife duo of Aaron and Adrienne Snow, Daron Gardner, John Bent, and other capable creative types over the years have been churning out a kaleidoscope of dream pop, psych, shoegaze, ambient, and anything else 4AD or Sire would’ve happily released back in the heyday of early 80s alternative. Despite the sometimes hallucinogenic effect their woozy guitar and synth waves may cause, there’s always an underpinning of pop and melody(thanks to the capable and dreamy vocals Adrienne adds.) If you’ve ever melted into the darkened corner of your bedroom as you pined for that dark-haired guy or gal in Physics class listening to early Cure, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshess, Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine, then Landing is going to be your new favorite band.

As I was saying, I was introduced to Landing by way of Danish record label El Paraiso Records. Co-label head Jonas Munk had been a fan of Landing for years and decided he wanted to work with them. The collaboration was Landing’s 2016 record Third Sight(Impetus 25, if you’re keeping count.) It was a mix of psychedelic ambient and hazy dream pop. It was a stellar LP and a beautiful first collaboration between prolific band and prolific record label.  Nearly two years later Landing are readying their next record with El Paraiso titled Bells In New Towns. They’ve dropped their lead single and opening track called “Nod”. If “Nod” is any indication, Landing are turning up the intensity and it’s a hell of a good fit.

“Nod” opens in a blaze of drums, bass, and wavering synth. Where Third Sight was very much floating on a cloud of pink and purple into the ether, “Nod” has Dino Jr drive. Everything blurs into a fuzzy riff that explodes into an almost Lush feel, courtesy of Adrienne’s vocals. There’s an aggressive quality here that was absent before. This sounds like rock band exploding at the seams. Landing still adds plenty of dreamy, psychedelic heft within the buzzing bass-heavy track, but there’s no mistaking this for anything but a hell of a rock and roll banger.

I think with “Nod”, Landing have taken their sound to the next level. I’m hoping to share a few more pints with them as well.

Bells In New Towns arrives on May 4th via El Paraiso Records. Preorder the album here.

For Whom The Blue Bell Knolls

It wasn’t always easy being able to admit my love for Cocteau Twins. Now that I’m in my 40s, middle-aged with an odd-shaped balding head it doesn’t really matter what I admit freely. No one is listening, nor do they care even if they’re in earshot of my incessant Midwest groaning. But being a metal head in Yuckety Yuk, Indiana in the late 80s/early 90s was a balancing act of testosterone ragin’ while keeping your sensitive side neatly tucked away. Maybe you’d keep that soft side of you in some old shoe box under your bed with a pair of your baby shoes, or buried in the backyard with a signed head shot of Soleil Moon Frye and a Popeye t-shirt your mom bought you when you were 8. You couldn’t show weakness in front of other sweaty, over-nourished metalheads or you were likely to be shunned from the group. You’d be sent to the woods to be eaten by wolves. Or worse, Pentecostals.

Point is, a band like Cocteau Twins was about as alien in my adolescent stomping grounds as ,well, aliens. You know, like Hanger 18 aliens. But there was something about Elizabeth Fraser’s voice that dug right into my freakish, greasy teen soul. It was haunting, ghostly, and ethereal like some divine whisper from the universe itself. Of course at 16-years old I would’ve said something more like “What the fuck? This is weird…but good weird like Brazil or potato chips on my bologna sandwich.” I can distinctly remember sitting over at my best friend Jason’s house on a Saturday night re-watching the previous week’s episode of 120 Minutes. We’d dig into Concrete Blonde, My Bloody Valentine, and whatever other 4AD band was the “it” alternative flavor of the week. Then Cocteau Twins’ “Heaven Or Las Vegas” came on and I sort of felt stunned. Like, what was happening? Is this what it feels like to be touched by an angel? Or groped by a ghost? As Jason started to fast forward the video I say to him “Hey man. Let’s just let this one play, you know for shits and giggles? We could just sit here silently and make fun of it in our minds without words. Or something.” Fortunately, Jason was thinking those same thoughts I was thinking about these Scottish dream poppers. We couldn’t put it into words, but we both knew there was something special going on. Of course we immediately threw on some Suicidal Tendencies or Faith No More and pretended we didn’t just have a moment.

I moved on, 120 Minutes was cancelled, Matt Pinfield got a new job, and I sort of forgot about Cocteau Twins for a couple years until The Crow came out and that soundtrack ruled my brain for most of 1994. One song in-particular got my attention. Medicine’s “Time Baby III”. It was a really cool song, but what really stuck out was the guest vocals of Elizabeth Fraser. It was a voice I hadn’t heard in a long time and it reminded me that I needed to go back to Cocteau Twins and investigate further.

Then about 20 years went by.

Back in 2014 I started up on Cocteau Twins. Having gone “full vinyl”, I knew I had to find some of their albums on the big, black circle. The first album I bought was Heaven Or Las Vegas. It had to be that. That was the album that broke through my big dumb brain in the first place. “Cherry-Coloured Funk” and “Heaven Or Las Vegas” were in my DNA. But the the second one I bought was Blue Bell Knoll. On a streaming binge I happened across the album and was pretty much floored by the whole thing. “Carolyn’s Fingers” felt like a chill going down my spine. Once I heard that I was done.

There are better albums by Cocteau Twins than Blue Bell Knoll. I’m a big fan of Garlands. I love the post-punk vibe and that I can hear where The Cure got their sound from on a song like “Wax and Wane”. Treasure was the first album that saw that truly mesmerizingly beautiful tone they would go on to perfect on Heaven Or Las Vegas. So where does that leave an album like Blue Bell Knoll? Well, to my ears, it’s the last Cocteau Twins album where they still sounded like a small band with very big ideas.

“Blue Bell Knoll” starts out with some of those dark, ominous tones of the early records but quickly adds some synth flourishes and stacks Fraser’s beautiful vocals on top to give the song a much welcomed dreaminess. “Athol-brose” is just absolute brilliance. It’s the moment Dorothy steps from her black and white farmhouse to soak in the technicolor beauty of Oz. It’s dizzying and an overload of the senses. No band sounds like this. Just Cocteau Twins. That’s it. “For Phoebe Still A Baby” feels like some alien lullaby. The bass puts me in mind of mid-80s Cure. I think there’s a thru-line between the two bands. It’s like they both drank from the same Gothic well and somehow worked through whatever demons they were struggling with. This track sounds like contentment with an overcast day.

I have to admit that for years I thought Cocteau Twins were Swedish or French or Finnish. There was something in Fraser’s vocals that made me think what she was singing was not English. I thought it was a very foreign language that was being sung. I was wrong. Cocteau Twins are a Scottish band, but I still think there’s a very alien lean to the words sung by Elizabeth Fraser. She sings beautifully, but it sounds like a language made up by Fraser. The magic in Cocteau Twins, besides the dream-like clouds of flangered bass, guitar, and walls of synth created by Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde, was that voice. It got me every time I heard it. Elizabeth Fraser had a voice like no other. For my money no one has yet to top it.

Every song on Blue Bell Knoll carried some sort of strange magic. “Cico Buff”, “Spooning Good Singing Gum”, “A Kissed Out Red Floatboat”, and “Ella Megalast Burls Forever” all contain some bit of melancholy genius. There’s absolute pop perfection contained on every track here. If it was a fair and just world, Cocteau Twins would’ve been played on pop radio stations worldwide instead of Debbie Gibson, Taylor Dayne, and NKOTB. Of course the population at large couldn’t take this kind of beauty on their commute to work or bus ride to school. There would’ve been massive existential crisis, love-ins in every county courthouse, and the world as we know it would’ve changed exponentially for the better. We couldn’t have that.

Come to think of it, this actually might be their best album.

I guess it’s better this way. A band like Cocteau Twins will live on forever, allowing future generations to discover their timeless dream pop. Their ghostly songs can fill earbuds in the future and maybe shine a little ethereal light on whatever shit show we may be enduring in 10, 20, or 30 years. And hopefully by then, no matter a metal head in the Midwest or a goat herder in Afghanistan, the Cocteau Twins can be enjoyed openly, freely, and without shame.

I love you Soleil Moon Frye. I always have.

 

 

Auburn Lull : Hypha

If you’re not paying attention you may just miss the existential beauty that engulfs the music of Auburn Lull. There’s a gauzy drift that permeates from this Lansing, Michigan-based dream pop band and the music they create. Ever since their 1999 debut Alone I Admire there was always this feeling that the band had some serious spatial information to share and that they were conveying that galactic message through their cavernous music. Though being tucked up in the middle of Michigan didn’t help to spread their musical presence of oneness, they have over the course of 20+ years built a strong following among those musical folks in the know. One of those folks is Jonas Munk who runs the most excellent Azure Vista Records in Denmark. Munk and Azure Vista Records are releasing the first record of new Auburn Lull music since 2008’s Begin Civil Twilight.

The new record, Hypha, is what you would hope it would be and more. It’s a dreamy, cavernous record filled with distant harmonies, slow motion melodies unraveling like a tree in the October cold, and ambient textures that hint at greater meaning in nothing more than a sustained guitar note.

Hypha is the kind of record you can put on and let it absorb in the background. Yet, if you stop what you’re doing and let the music wash over you it’s a much more visceral experience.  Album opener “Juni” has the sound of ghosts whispering in the hallowed halls of some ancient building. It’s a mixture of melancholy history and a future unknown. For the younger crowd that may not have a reference point with Auburn Lull, imagine Grizzly Bear’s Yellow House, but far deeper lost in the ether. “Juni” sounds like looking into the beautiful abyss. “Outsight” opens with ethereal guitars and bits of crackling and buzzing of amps. The vocals feel more like ancient tomes than modern pop vocals. It’s like Tibetan chant through the mind of Brian Wilson. “Silo” crackles with electronic energy beneath the cavernous vocals that do indeed sound like they were recorded in a silo. The music kicks in and it has an almost electro pop feel to it, but if Brian Eno was at the helm. “Starlet” is pure droning bliss. It’s more in line with Jason Kolb’s Billow Observatory(a band Kolb is in with Jonas Munk, no less.) It bends and twists into this beautiful vocal track as it makes its way to its far too soon ending.

The songs on Hypha never wear out their welcome, and in some cases they feel as if they could go on forever. The beautiful “Divaldlo pts. i, ii, iv” is indeed one of those songs. Piano, organ, and cavernous reverb are always welcome, and in Auburn Lull’s hands they’re transcendent. Closer “Mora/Mirage” brings all those beautiful elements together expertly. It encapsulates the heady shoegaze drifts, the ethereal ambient, and the spatial pop elements that Auburn Lull have been perfecting for 20 years now.

Hypha is a whisper from the universe courtesy of Auburn Lull. Within its 9 tracks there seems to be some galactic bit of ancient wisdom wrapped up in dream pop and ambient vibes. Auburn Lull have tapped into some serious existential tomes once again in the wooded landscapes of Michigan. In the times we are currently living in, I think we could all use some existential tomes. Drop the needle on Hypha and cleanse your brain.

8.2 out of 10